Dining text

Dining services has rolled out a new program for students to provide instantaneous feedback on their meals. While students may not know about the new feature, dining services are already calling the program a useful tool to better serve the community.

Jennifer Gilmore, the director of marketing and communication for Dining Services, said the department wanted to be able to address student needs in real time rather than making adjustments based on old data.

“[Before], we were relying on annual surveys, which only give you a momentary glimpse into the student dining experience,” Gilmore said. “We wanted to be able to get a bigger sampling of what students’ sentiment was about the foods, and it would give us a better idea of what was really going on.”

To use the service, Txt and Tell, students simply need to text their comment to the number 55744 with the code for their dining location. The comment is then forwarded to the on-duty manager for immediate resolution. 

“The great thing is if we do have something that needs to be addressed immediately, that manager can go to the line and address it,” Gilmore said. “For example, [if] the rice wasn't cooked properly in a particular batch, we could make some adjustments instead of finding out four days later from social media that there was something that wasn't quite to their liking or cooked properly.”

Before the Txt and Tell program was implemented two months ago, students either had to speak to someone in person or send an email to Dining if they had an issue. For a problem that might require immediate attention, this approach could be time-consuming and simply not useful. 

Morgan Miller, a first-year studying animal science, said students seem to be liking the new program as well. 

“I think the fact that it's texting makes it very accessible,” Miller said. “More people are going to be likely to do it [because] it's relatively easy to fill out.”

At the end of each month, the service sends a report to dining services with student satisfaction ratings in different areas. Students can rate food quality, service, menu variety, cleanliness and overall experience for different dining locations. Based on these reports, Dining Services know what they need to adjust and what is going well. Gilmore said most of the comments to the service are positive. 

“We were pretty excited that we had more people saying positive things than negative things,” Gilmore said. “When we hear these types of things, it really does make the staff happy.”

Dining services hopes more students will use the Txt and Tell program to help dining locations continue to serve NC State students.

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