Crave Sushi Bar Rolls into Campus

Photo courtesy of the “Lewis University Dining” Facebook page: Lewis students crowded into the University Dining Room to experience a unique meal prepared by a sushi chef. The chef made over 1,500 pieces of sushi to accomodate the event’s popularity among the Lewis Community.

Stephanie Lipinski, Print Editor-In-Chief

Before the long holiday break, Sodexo hosted their last Crave event for the semester: a sushi bar. The University Dining Room was decorated to create the ambiance of off-campus dining, including mood lighting, decorative table settings and a sushi station for the chef.

Sodexo partnered with a local sushi company, Pak Sushi, which provides the to-go sushi in Charlie’s Place. The sushi was made fresh to order and the menu not only included sushi, but also Sodexo’s noodle bar, appetizers and dessert.

Sodexo was prompted to consider a sushi Crave event due to positive feedback from the Lewis community.

“The to-go sushi option is always a popular item with students, and we thought it would be a good crossover for the Crave restaurants,” said Anthony DeRose, Sodexo’s area marketing coordinator.

The event was a major hit among students. Reservations filled so fast that Sodexo had to turn people away.

“Lewis students consumed over 1,500 pieces of sushi and 50 pieces of nagiri. The most popular sushi rolls were the crazy dragon roll and the crispy shrimp tempura roll,” DeRose said.

DeRose attributes the success of the event to Sodexo’s commitment to creating a unique dining service not offered on any other college campus.

Due to the event’s great success, and to accommodate those who missed the event due to lack of space, Sodexo plans to host another sushi Crave event next semester.

“We have a lot of great themes that we are looking forward to [trying] early in the semester,” said DeRose. “The second sushi Crave will be hosted closer to the end of the year; this will allow us to incorporate it with Asian Pacific Heritage Month in May.”

Although the event was popular, there were a few mishaps that occurred throughout the night. Besides having to turn people away, many students did not receive the sushi rolls they preordered due to lack of ingredients, which was out of Sodexo’s control.

“All of the sushi ingredients are brought from Pak Sushi directly,” DeRose said. “The problem that arose was related to the sushi company not making or having all of the ingredients on-hand to make the Baja style rolls.”

Sodexo did a great job handling this problem, as students who could not get the rolls they wanted were offered other sushi options that were made by the chef immediately. Often, these rolls were higher priced, but students did not have to pay the price difference. In addition, if students didn’t want the substitute provided, their money was refunded.

Junior studio art major Brianna Richards did not receive the sushi she wanted, but was still thrilled with the event.

“I plan to make an earlier reservation so I can get the rolls I want, but the meal was really good. They had really good costumer service and provided good alternatives at no extra cost ” Richards said.

While some students felt the customer service was great, others did not share that opinion.

“The food was really good, but the servers were a bit confused. They didn’t know what they were giving you,” said senior aviation maintenance major Josh Butz. “However, I would definitely attend the event again.”

Sodexo workers are not trained to know sushi by sight, so perhaps to alleviate this problem, Pak Sushi and Sodexo can work together to train the Sodexo staff on what sushi options are offered.

Hopefully the event planned for the spring will have fewer mishaps, as Sodexo is actively discussing with Pak Sushi how to fix these minor problems.

Those who missed out on the event are still able to try the sushi, as it is often available at Charlie’s Place.

For more information in Sodexo’s Crave events, stop in the Sodexo office located in Charlie’s Place or contact Anthony DeRose at Anthony.DeRose@sodexo.com.

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