Uncooked chicken is never a pleasant sight, and after the image of raw chicken purportedly served in the Juniper Dining Hall was shared more than 200 times, the image must have been least pleasant for USF Dining Services.
But despite receiving hundreds of angry comments from students, alumni and the virtual versions of helicopter parents, USF Dining Services, and respectively Aramark, the company that manages it, has responded in perhaps the best way they could.
While the alleged piece of bloody chicken should never have been served and students who pay for meal plans should be entitled to the quality of the food they are paying for, Dining Services has been quick to address the problem, not skirting away from it or burying their heads.
Within hours of the photo being posted and angry comments began accruing, the USF Dining Services Facebook page set up an event inviting students to share their feedback on dining concerns, particularly in the Juniper Dining hall. On Friday, the page posted an announcement stating that the management team in the dining hall in question had been replaced and that a health inspection had been conducted Thursday.
Perhaps the most interesting role in the way this situation has played out is the one of social media. Had this same piece of chicken been served to a student who chose to bring the issue directly to Dining Services in a world without social media, would the response from Dining have been the same?
But though the hypothetical question can have no satisfactory or non-speculative answer, social media helped Dining spread its response as well on a wide scale as well. Though its response has not been shared or like nearly as many times as the original photo, it’s message has been sent out to a larger audience as well.
But though the response thus far has been about as much as Dining can do, the real testament to its commitment to improving will come from its follow through with suggestions that come about today’s forum.