Inside the dining halls around campus, many food stations have been shutting down early due to lack of staffing. The University of West Georgia has been experiencing a staff shortage in their dining services and students are starting to notice.
There are a multitude of reasons why Dine West had a decline in staff members. The culprit of the staffing shortage is a lack of applicants for full time positions and lack of applicants for student assistants.
“We have seen this challenge post-pandemic,” said Joey Moncayo, the University of West Georgia’s Director of Campus Dining. “Just look at the state of the economy, employment rates and things of that nature. We have the same effects that most in this industry are suffering from.”
Additionally, UWG experienced a decline in full-time dining employees after shutting down dining halls for the pandemic even though they were still getting paid despite them not working.
Moncayo and his team have been attempting to fix this issue by intriguing potential employees with higher pay and the payoff is starting to show.
“We’re still onboarding a lot of student assistants that have applied,” said Moncayo. “It’s starting to even out now. We’ve raised our student assistant pay for Dine West to $12 an hour which has attracted more students.”
Moncayo and his team have also allowed student assistants to work 29 hours instead of 20 like former years which has increased more interest in dining positions.
West Commons and East Commons are not the only dining services that are experiencing understaffing issues. The University of West Georgia’s Chick-Fil-A has also been struggling.
“Chick-Fil-A is the biggest one,” said Moncayo. “It takes quite a number of individuals to be able to operate. We’re not short staffed in our full-time employees; however, again filling those vacancies for student assistants is critical. We’re starting to see a positive impact from our rate increase and hours increase students applying to work down at Chick-Fil-A.”
Despite this, Starbucks, West Wings and the Market Deli have not been experiencing challenges with being understaffed.
The main method they intend to use to assist the current staff is by hiring qualified employees and updating dining operations.
“Honestly, that’s really the goal,” said Moncayo. “We’ve adjusted some of the things we operate in our dining facilities, we’ve centralized all our baking out of one kitchen, so we have one pastry chef and her support team that can cook out of one kitchen in what we call commissary and send it to East Commons.”
Though the university’s competitors can offer more pay per hour, Dine West staff is offered insurance, retirement and other benefits to attract more employees that their competitors do not grant.
Despite Dine West’s lack of staff, they are still hopeful that they will gain more attraction for employees due to their new offers, new operation and higher pay.
“Come and enjoy Dine West,” said Moncayo.