Jon Plodzik

Dining food service director

How many tons of food do students eat a year?
We spend about $170,000 on food in a given week. Tonnage-wise I don’t what that equates to, but it’s a lot.

How difficult was it to deliver food to students during the winter term Covid outbreak?
That undertaking took every member of our Dartmouth dining team. Most of us worked 14 days straight.

What is the capacity of the dining hall with social distancing? 
We have 226 seats in the Class of 1953 Commons, compared to the more than 1,000 we had before the pandemic. It’s changed the dynamic.

What changed with the new dining restrictions?
We had to make sure you weren’t touching anything. Staff working behind plastic is not the most desirable idea.

How many students have dietary restrictions? 
About 284 students have allergies, ranging from the common eight to unique ones, such as apples, beef, celery, onions, lettuce.

Who chooses the music played in dining locations? 
We subscribe to a service. When I first came here there was no music. It was like working in a library. We like to have ’80s music in the morning, then move into pop at lunch. Once in a while we’ll even play some country.

What’s the most popular meal? 
General Tso’s chicken. 

What’s the messiest meal?
Historically, our lobster dinner. That meal made me feel for the people who work at seafood restaurants. We spent a lot of time extracting the mess from the carpet after that one.

When was the last good food fight?
Winter Carnival weekend in 2001. Since then, there has been a nice calm. I was told by folks from the class of 1953 that food fights in Thayer Hall were frequent. They would throw rolls with peanut butter to the ceiling to get them to stick and said a butter pat was wonderful because it would stick to just about anything it was thrown against.

What’s next for Dartmouth dining?
We’ve got a bunch of other cafes I hope will open in the next two years. I think about our brand adding to your life in Hanover. Everything needs to be about that feeling that this is going to be a great time and this is going to be a great meal.

 

 

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Alumni Books
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View From Above
Ultra runner Jarmal Richard ’91 gains altitude Down Under.
A Trip to the Sea

The College tradition that turns adventure travel on its head.

Cal Newport ’04
A digital tech expert on working smarter

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