By Victoria Lewis / Staff writer

After the remodel in 2020, the Hutchinson Community College cafeteria has undergone many changes, but this semester has seen more upgrades to students’ dining experience.

Since Brenda Roberts assumed her position as Food Service Director in mid July, the cafeteria has steadily added to its menu variety, as well as add more kitchen tools for students to use. Roberts said of the improvements so far, “From what I understand, this is a definite improvement and I know that the students, staff and general public really like it.

“I’ve had an opportunity to visit other colleges, and I can say that our cafeteria really caters to our students’ wants and needs. With our diverse menu options, we ensure that there is something for everyone.”

Roberts said that this semester, the staff has spent a lot of time speaking with students and gaining their input as to what they would like to see on the menu.

“Our goal is to be a place where the students feel comfortable and get a great meal,” Roberts said.

Student feedback that Roberts has received has been that the “Daily Crave”, which includes quesadillas, burrito bowls, chicken fried rice and more, is the most popular station, with the quesadillas on Wednesdays being the biggest stand out.

This semester, a new panini maker is coming soon to the cafeteria, and a waffle maker has already become a hit among students, as well as more vegetarian options being regularly prepared.

One student who eats at the cafeteria for breakfast, lunch and dinner is Ashlynn Burgess, a McPherson freshman.

She said that she enjoys eating at the cafeteria, because the food is good and they have options for people with allergies. She also sings her praise of the new option to make waffles on campus.

“I love that we have the waffle maker so I can get a hot breakfast when they don’t serve hot breakfast,” Burgess said.

Another student, who doubles as an athlete for the women’s basketball team, sophomore Leata Te Nana-Williams, said she is “excited for the panini maker, but (is) pretty stoked about the waffle maker too.”

“I like the fact we can make our own stuff. I enjoy making my own breakfasts especially – I normally go for some concoction of tomatoes and meat on toast,” said the New Zealand native.

In speaking about her general experience at the cafeteria, Te Nana-Williams said “my favorite part of the caf is the company. I get to see and talk to a lot of new people.

“I really like the staff, the staff make the experience at the cafeteria better – they make me feel very welcomed and they are very friendly and are just really genuine people.”

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