The Zepps Roll Controversy:
Quality Assurance in Action

Last week, UAlbany students voiced complaints about changes to the Zepps menu, and UAS responded. The popular Campus Center eatery had made some adjustments to their menu for the new semester in order to better meet the dietary and nutritional needs of students, but at the cost of a shortened sub roll.  After receiving feedback from students, UAS introduced a new, larger roll. 

When the semester began, the sub roll had been shortened from twelve inches to six inches, though the amount of meat on the sandwich was increased to four ounces. In addition, only American cheese was available for sandwiches at no extra cost - any other cheese came with a $.50 increase in price. These modifications were implemented to make the sandwiches healthier, heartier, and slightly more gourmet. However, students lamented the fact that the sub rolls were reduced in size but not price.

These complaints were directed to The Albany Student Dining Advisory Committee (ASDAC), a student-run organization under the auspices of UAS. ASDAC is committed to preserving the quality of dining and vending services on the UAlbany campus.

The Mystery Shopper Program is one way that ASDAC helps to maintain a high standard of quality in the dining facilities. Students are sent to different dining or vending venues, such as a dining hall or restaurant in the Campus Center, and write a report about their dining experience. The report contains information regarding cleanliness, service, food quality, and any other comments the student may have about their meal.

This report is then passed on to Eli Leveston and Emily Lamontagne, who serve as the Quality Assurance Associates for UAS.

“The goal of ASDAC Is to provide a forum for students to express their food concerns,” said Leveston. “We are able to address them with a quick turnaround time and provide the changes students desire.”

He went on to say, “In my job, the number one priority is food safety - making sure it’s prepared safely. Then comes quality assurance, taste, and presentation.”

Leveston meets with Chartwells staff, such as head chef Ryan Poole, regularly to discuss menu changes in order to please students.

Leveston also stressed the importance of student feedback. Every email sent to UAS is read and discussed. If the issue is immediately addressable, he will take the proper action to rectify the situation. This is the case for issues such as cleanliness, maintenance and service. However, for a more in-depth issue, such as food quality, taste, or menu choices, Leveston will meet with the proper officials to find a solution.

A large portion of his day is spent walking through the different dining facilities, observing and monitoring the service at the different facilities. He personally tastes and tries new menu items, and will sit down and talk with students if he overhears comments or complaints.

The changes made to the Zepps menu reflect the desires expressed by students in response to the initial alteration. ASDAC was successful in getting students what they want. Subs at Zepps are now served on eight-inch rolls; they include four ounces of meat, one ounce of any cheese at no additional cost, and unlimited vegetables and condiments.

In addition to the modification of portion sizes, Zepps has introduced a new line of delicious choices for students. Many new sandwiches and salads have been introduced; including the Fajita sub, the Knish-wich and the West Coast.  Health-conscious students can now order any sandwich with a lettuce wrap instead of a roll, appropriately named the Albany Un-Sub. Zepps Express has been moved to the Outtakes Quick Cuisine line in order to help serve students more efficiently. -Charles Vella