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The system of special orders now in use at Memorial tends to impair the quality of the fare. It is a positive obstacle to proper efficiency, both in the hall and in the kitchen, in the preparation and serving of the food. There are eighty different articles on the list which have to be cooked to order, and there are often several hundred extra orders called for in a day. The three general cooks have to prepare all this in addition to their regular work, and to do so, must neglect something which ought to be done. The employees themselves recognize this and in the language of one of the them, 'would consider themselves in a perfect paradise in the kitchen if the extras were abolished." The system itself is a bad one, as either there must be great waste and loss to the association if a sufficient supply of all perishable things on the list is kept on hand, or if only a little is provided as is now done those alone who order first can be served and the annoying answer "all out" is the only result of the long and tedious waiting of those who order afterwards, Now almost every man in the hall would be willing to give up the order list, or at least to have the number of articles on it lessened if the general fare could be greatly improved by doing so, as in most cases extras are resorted to only when the usual food is distasteful. It would be very easy to stop the ordering for a while and give the plan a fair trial and if the expected improvement did not follow, the old system could be continued.
Another general complaint made by those who board at Memorial is that they get tired of the sameness of the fare and lose their appetites. The same bill of fare appears every week on the same day and one knows beforehand just what to expect. This could be easily changed and such a variation adds to the relish of their meals. By lessening the number of vegetables served each day a greater variety could be offered without increase of expense. The fish is almost uniformly bad and everybody would be willing to give it up on four days of the week if the quality on the remaining days could be improved. The same may be said of the chicken which is often positively unfit to eat.
The directors are now practically powerless in the matter, but if an inspector responsible solely and directly to the association were to be appointed this state of things could soon be remedied. The changes which have been suggested can be made only by the authority of the corporation, and their attention should be called to the matter. Even if this plan may not seem expedient yet some determined effort should be made immediately to save the digestions of those unfortunates who "feed" at Memorial.
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