Ram’s Horn, Durrell marketplaces to expand hours after staffing shortages

A+CSU+student+scans+their+ID+at+a+newly+installed+payment+system+at+Rams+Horn+Express+Nov.+3%2C+2019.+%28Skyler+Pradhan+%7C+Collegian%29

A CSU student scans their ID at a newly installed payment system at Ram’s Horn Express Nov. 3, 2019. (Skyler Pradhan | Collegian)

Samy Gentle, News Reporter

The Colorado State University dining centers and marketplaces reduced their hours of operation at the start of the spring semester, transitioning to a new closure time of 8 p.m. and the complete closure of Ram’s Horn Dining Center Grubhub pickup. 

The reduced hours of dining options on campus are a result of staffing shortages. CSU Housing & Dining Services said in an email announcement Jan. 14, “At this time, we expect to open this spring with staffing levels at about 65%, with higher-than-average levels of staff absenteeism — as many as 20% of staff out on one day.”

Ad

CSU Residential Dining Services announced in an email Feb. 8 that both Durrell Marketplace and Café and Ram’s Horn Marketplace and Café will be expanding their hours of operation to 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. The new hours will go into effect Monday, Feb. 21.

“As of today (Feb. 11), Residential Dining Services has half of the typical number of full-time staff serving the same number of students living on campus pre-pandemic.” –Lucas Miller, senior associate director of operations for Residential Dining Services

“The increased hours that we’ve been able to add back into the schedule since the start of the spring semester are in direct response to what the students shared with us would be most beneficial (like the re-introduction of late-night hours to the marketplaces),” said Lucas Miller, senior associate director of operations for Residential Dining Services.

Efforts have been made by Housing & Dining Services to market their dining center jobs to students, including increasing salaries and wages, Miller explained. This has led to enough of an increase in staff levels to expand the marketplace hours. 

“While hiring full-time staff continues to be challenging, we are glad to see an increase in the number of students who want to work with us this semester,” Miller said. “This has allowed us to be able to extend the hours in the Durrell and Ram’s Horn Marketplaces starting Monday (Feb. 21). As student employment increases, we will continue to evaluate our ability to extend hours at other locations.”

The Foundry, Ram’s Horn and Braiden dining halls will remain at the current hours with closure at 8 p.m., as staff levels are still low.

“As of today (Feb. 11), Residential Dining Services has half of the typical number of full-time staff serving the same number of students living on campus pre-pandemic,” Miller said. 

These staffing shortages in the campus dining facilities have been affecting student employees in their workplace. 

“We don’t have enough people to have even one person at every station most shifts, so what ends up happening is you will be given multiple things to manage all at once,” an anonymous Ram’s Horn Marketplace student worker said. “This can be overwhelming.”

From the perspective of a student rather than an employee, the marketplace worker said, “I do miss the convenience of the Grubhub pickup. There was always a guarantee of food I like there. Sometimes the dining halls don’t have what I like, so I feel stuck.”

As for when the remaining dining hall hours will go back to normal, Housing & Dining is still unsure. “The pandemic is still taking its toll on the labor market, which makes it hard to predict the future, and when it is possible, hours and services will be increased,” Miller said.

Ad

Reach Samy Gentle at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @samy_gentle_.