More than Food at a College Cafeteria

By Bryan White, Stephen Brennan and Charlie Dilella

Sodexo was founded by Pierre Bellon in 1966 in Marseilles, France and is now the world leader in duality of life services. It is located in 80 countries, and employs 391,000 with consistent yearly growth. Sodexo provides services to schools, universities, hospitals, correctional facilities and other remote sites.

The mission of the company states they, “believe that the quality of daily life increases the satisfaction and motivation of individuals, and thus plays an important role in the organizational performance of our strategic partners.”

In terms of continental revenue North America holds the highest percentage with 37 percent, followed by Continental Europe, which holds 36 percent, and finishing up with the United Kingdom and Ireland which accrue about 8 percent. The rest of the world combines to equal 19 percent of Sodexo’s revenue.  Among its recent accolades Sodexo Inc. received are being placed both the 2012 Working Mother: Best Companies for Hourly Workers and was featured on 2012 Forbes Most Admired Companies List.

The two social media outlets that Sodexo currently uses at Lasell to get in touch with the community are a Facebook page and a website. The Sodexo at Lasell Facebook page is set up to promote upcoming events, special menu changes, general information regarding the college, as well as posting photographs from past events.

Since the page joined the Lasell college network, all students are invited to events such as the Midnight Breakfast, OXEDOS food truck, etc.  In an interview done with Christine Hubbard, whose job title is formally Food Service Manager but she is involved in many aspects of the Sodexo program, we learned that this is the first year that the Facebook page was established and updated daily.


“I receive a promotions kit from corporate in the spring and fall that has major events to choose from,” Christine explained about how she chooses and promotes special engagements. She recently yielded the responsibility of updating the Facebook page daily when a promotion coordinator was hired.

The second way that Sodexo at Lasell is connected to students is through its website. The website is very informative and useful to students. Among the many features are menu details, hours of operation,nutritional facts of the food, upcoming events, and ways to contact to the Sodexo at Lasell staff.

After looking at their existing social media and online accessibility, we had some suggestions that would benefit Sodexo at Lasell, as well as some praises to what has already been done.

Our first critique was to start a Sodexo at Lasell Twitter feed. This would be very useful in updating students about the daily menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It would also help promote upcoming events or the new design for the cafeterias. A Twitter account would be also used to answer questions that students may have regarding the meal or respond to a problem faster to give feedback.  Currently the best way they are answering quick questions or suggestions is on a napkin board. Though the answers are promptly responded, if done electronically this could enhance the experience of connecting students and the cafeteria staff. Twitter helps any business stay connected with its clientele within seconds.


We also thought that using the newer types of social media such as a Flickr or a Pinterest account would be effective. Having these newer forms of outreach would give students a lot more ways to connect to the program.  Especially services like these which are mainly for image sharing. Both students and staff could submit their photographs and contests could even take place for the best weekly photos, for example.

We had no problems with the Sodexo Lasell dining website and thought it was very effective and easy to use. In fact Christine said that, “several students this year have been hired because of the website employment section.”  Also the changing of the meal plan process has gone on seamlessly thanks to the extra communication online.

One new detail we got from our interview was that a second promotions coordinator was being brought on for the new academic year. With this second coordinator on board, proper analytics could be done to see if these new proposed social media ideas are being used effectively and to track how many people are engaging through them.

From this critique of a corporation we can see that no matter how established the company or business, social media is important to relating to a whole new type of audience.  Christine said it best, “I notice that students pay more attention to phones and computers than signs in the café.”


Cooking show of epic proportions

By Zachary Gray

Cooking shows have always been about creating dishes that’ll taste delicious, look appealing, and impress friends & family. Emeril Lagasse, Bobby Flay, and Anthony Bourdain are a few of the celebrity chefs who strive to create impressive culinary creations. There’s a group of “celebrity chefs” who also strive to create impressive meals, but their creations would probably make Julia Child roll in her grave. Take a group of bacon-loving Canadians, mix in some a lot of alcohol, add the internet, and you get Epic Meal Time.

Making dreams come true, then eating them

Since 2010, Epic Meal Time has posted videos every Tuesday on their YouTube Channel. Each video is an abomination of a cooking show, as massive amounts of meat are used to create giant burgers, pizzas, or lasagnas. In some cases, it’s unknown what exactly has been created from the array of meats. Regardless if the meal is dessert, cake, barbecue, or chili, everything must have bacon. Many of the meals contain large amounts of Jack Daniels, various cuts of meat including lamb heads, and absolutely no vegetables (as EMT creator Harley Morenstein puts it, “carrots are for ugly people”). The video that lifted EMT above other YouTube channels was their 2010 Thanksgiving special. The EMT crew created their own version of a turducken with the TurBaconEpic:

Epic Meal Time is hosted by Harley Morenstein, a former high school substitute teacher from Montreal, Canada. Along with Morenstein, Epic Meal Time feautres Alex Perrault (aka Muscles Glasses), David Heuff, Tyler Lemco, Josh Elkin, and Ameer Atari.

Morenstein (top) with, from left to right, Perrault, Lemco, Heuff, and Elkin.

Along with the YouTube channel, Epic Meal Time has its own website, online store, and Twitter handle. Each cast member also has their own Twitter handle as well. High definition podcasts of the meals are also available on iTunes.

Best Brunch in Boston

By Alicia Deily

There is nothing quite like heading out to a leisurely brunch with friends. Break out of your normal routine this weekend and skip the cafeteria. Hop on the T instead and head downtown to some of Boston’s best places to brunch. Here are three very different but equally delicious options:

Neighborhood: Fenway
T Stop: D line- Fenway

Have a religious experience at Church this weekend and sample some incredible brunch food in a completely unique setting. As the name suggests, Church, has a Gothic theme that is completed by stained glass windows and art commissioned by local artist. The brunch menu offers creative takes on classics like macaroni and cheese and breakfast burritos. This is an experience you will be sure to remember.


The Paramount
Neighborhood: Beacon Hill
T Stop: Green Line- Park Street//Red Line- Charles/MGH

The Paramount is well worth the trip into Beacon Hill due to it’s charming atmosphere and historical legacy. The restaurant opened in 1937 and has been a Boston favorite ever since. The breakfast is mouth-watering and the lunch is to die for. The hardest part is deciding which to choose. Expect simple food at a reasonable price. It is the perfect way to begin a day downtown, being minutes away from the Esplanade, the Commons and Newbury Street.


Neighborhood: Back Bay
T Stop: Green Line- Hynes Convention Center

Trident is a small cafe and book shop in the perfect place to begin a day in the city. It is the ideal place for catching up with a friend due to it’s intimate and inviting atmosphere. Trident is also vegetarian/vegan friendly with offerings like a tofu scramble and a bean burrito. Trident also offers fresh juices, smoothies and espresso based drinks. This place is not only great for brunch but for any time of the day.

Gather your friends and leave your usual bland cafeteria fare behind this weekend. Have a new brunch experience; you won’t regret it.

Need A Break From The Fine Dining of Valentine Hall?

By Rebecca Gooch

Lasell College has one main dining hall students attend for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Valentine Hall is a place you will always see someone you know when you walk in as it is Lasell’s most accessible dining service. Lasell does continue to make efforts to expand their food selection which personally, I have noticed. However, sometimes venturing out into the community of Newton to local restaurants is a refreshing treat.

Only minutes away from Moody Street, Newton Center, and West Newton, Lasell College is in a perfect location for students to walk or drive to restaurants if Valentine Hall is not catering to their needs. In walking distance, just over a mile away is Bruegger’s, Bocca Bella Café & Bistro, and Tom’s Pizza. These are all affordable, good quality restaurants students should give a try.

Located in the Star Market plaza is Bruegger’s, which is great for breakfast but also makes great Panini sandwiches if you’re looking for lunch. Bocca Bella Café & Bistro is the priciest out of these three but is an excellent Italian restaurant for lunch or dinner. Just across the street is Tom’s Pizza, your classic pizzeria. Whether you are looking for a slice of pizza, a box to split with friends, or a sub, Tom’s has you covered and always provides quick and quality service.

Students with cars who have the option to venture a little further should explore Heidi’s on Moody Street, Tango Mango in Newton Center, or Comella’s in West Newton. All three of these restaurants will give you generous portions for unbeatable prices. Heidi’s is the perfect late night diner. Tango Mango may have the best burritos around, always hand rolled before you with the freshest ingredients. And then Comella’s, famous for their “messes,” is cheap and always serves generous portion sizes.

Lasell College is located minutes away from all six restaurants whether you walk or drive. Please expand your horizon and dine at these unique local restaurants!