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- Crossing the line
Nemo Tests Chartwells
Following the university’s alert that school and campus would be closed from Feb. 8 until Feb. 12, Chartwells had no choice but to remain open and serve its customers.
Knowing that the students had no other alternative for food, Chartwells knew that they must make do with what they had, and what they could provide during the storm.
“Prior to the storm, all our vendors were contacted to ensure there would be food deliveries,” Leean Spalding, associate director of dining services for Chartwells said. “In anticipation of the storm, there was extra food ordered on Friday for the weekend.”
However, this was not enough to subsidize daily deliveries, and caused several stations to be unable to open every day and serve the numbers they needed to serve. This also caused the staff to quickly alter the opening hours for both Café Q and the Bobcat Den, in hopes of still being able to serve the students as best as possible as intended.
Due to the inclement weather and the roads being almost completely out of commission, Chartwells faced more complications than they expected.
“All of our normal Saturday deliveries did not arrive as scheduled, which included dairy, produce and bakery,” Spalding said.
The extreme weather conditions also prevented staff from travelling through the roads of Hamden and nearby towns, hindering their ability to get to campus and serve the students. However, Chartwells put 10 workers up in a nearby hotel to guarantee their safety as well as their capability of coming to work.
“They put us up in hotel rooms so we could continue coming every day,” said Chartwells worker Geronald Smith, one of the 10 employees who worked throughout the weekend. “It wasn’t bad. The kids had to get fed, so we did what we had to do.”
It was because of their dedication to the students, and their willingness to go above and beyond to serve Quinnipiac that led Chartwells to be the only dining establishment open in Hamden on Feb. 9.
Café Q reached record sales on that day, and in only eight hours, it had completed more than 2,330 transactions. Staff members had to step in and do whatever they possibly could to ensure that everything ran smoothly.
“Many associates rose to the occasion and worked positions that were new to them,” Joseph Tobin, Chartwells’ director of dining services said.
Their jobs for the weekend were particularly demanding and stressful, yet they all continued working and with a smile on their face.
“It was one of those times,” Smith said. “It was pretty hard because we put in so many hours, but we did what we had to do.”
However, their hard work did not go unnoticed by the students.
“I appreciated all that the Chartwells workers did, and I know that transportation for them was difficult, yet they still made it to work every day, and kept us fed,” freshman Barron Lincoln said.
Although Chartwells had to make many cuts to what food options could and could not be served, due to lack of deliveries, staff and time, the students took time to appreciate all that they did for them.
“Even though there was a limited food supply, they made it work,” Lincoln said.