Berry Reviews Food Choices

Dining Services Director Calls for 'Punch' in Menu

The Harvard Dining Services is in the process of reviewing its food structure with the intention of pinpointing areas needing improvement, officials said yesterday.

"I don't feel that there's much punch in the menu this year," said Dining Services Director Michael P. Berry, "I know I want to sit down with (dining hall managers] and talk about it."

Berry said most of the problems stem from changes instituted this summer.

The Dining Services switched suppliers and opened more outlets such as the Greenhouse Cafe, he said.

"We tried to do a lot with changes in the menu and with suppliers. It didn't all come together," said Berry.


Right now, Berry said the Dining Services is conducting a comprehensive analysis of its food system. "We're studying two things: the menu structure itself, the six week cycle...and some of the vendors," said Berry.

Berry said he also wants to rework some recipes for dining hall food to make it more healthy.

The Dining Services runs on six-week menu cycles, which are difficult to alter in midstream,according to Berry.

However, Berry said the Dining Services isattempting to make some improvements week by weekas the study goes on. Any permanent changes willbe instituted around the time of winter recess.

According to Berry, there has not been anabrupt rise in criticisms on student commentcards. However, he said several students hadcomplained to him in the course of his scoutingtrips to Harvard dining halls.

Richard M. Spingel, supervisor for productionat the Quad dining halls, concurred with Berrythat he has seen no real increase in submittedcomplaints. However, he also said that certainareas have been singled out for dissatisfaction.

"I've heard that there are too many of someitems, like chicken. Chicken was on five timeslast week. I think it's the way that menus arestructured--[students] want more variety," hesaid.

The manager of the Dunster and the Matherdining halls, Gerald A. Ardolino, said that he hasnoticed more requests than complaints. "We trywithin reason to accomodate them," he said.

Several students said they felt there was roomfor improvement in the food. "The vegetarianoptions have been absent more than once," saidEmily E. Brodsky '95, a Lowell resident. "The food[quality] has been uneven."

Regina N. Ford '95 was more critical. "I thinkthe theory is, the food is horrible, so they'retrying to change the presentation around and makeit look good," she said