Crossroads needs to ‘ketchup’ to Marletto’s

Illustration by Sarah Blankenship
Illustration by Sarah Blankenship

In the past few years, I can say that Webster’s food quality has increased. Marletto’s, Simply-to-Go, the Cyber Cafe and, yes, even the option at the University Center’s Crossroad Food Court have seen a sharp rise in food quality and, in some ways, service.

The issue with the University Center’s food options aren’t the workers or the food. It’s the logistics of the entire system. The newly introduced payment system (where a yellow card must be stamped PAID for the customer to collect their food) will certainly cut down on student’s wandering off with free food, but it doesn’t solve the issues with wait times and what seems to me like understaffing issues.

It seems that no matter busy or slow, the lines at the UC are long, or stagnant. The first week of school, I waited in line for 20 minutes to order food. I was the only person in line. The staff seemed busy, so I quietly stood there, fearful I might interrupt the man preparing chicken tenders for the fryer. He seemed busy, and I thought 5 minutes to eat my chicken wrap would be plenty.

Honestly, this isn’t a shot at the staff. They’re polite, work hard and try to get to you as quickly as they can. It’s a logistical issue. Perhaps there should always be one person working the cashier station. Maybe that’s the case already? I’m not sure. Nonetheless, it could be done better.

The bigger problem: the UC seems like a barren wasteland of options when it comes to non-purchased goods. We’re talking condiments, folks. If you want anything extra, you better be ready to fork it out. There isn’t even a mustard dispenser in the UC. There’s a ketchup a dispenser, but no mustard to be found. Sorry mustard folks, but you’re out of luck. I don’t mean to tote on this for a long time, but most places have the common decency to put out mustard, and in some ways the lack thereof has made me open my eyes to the disparities between Marletto’s and the University Center.

It may seem wrong to some, but I feel as a student of Webster University and a customer at the Crossroad Food Court that I have the right to slather my meals with as many condiments as I see fit. Those condiments are nowhere to be found. Buffalo sauce, barbeque sauce and ketchup, simply will not do.

I think the University Center should offer a similar experience to that which one would get at Marletto’s. At Marletto’s, if you buy something you have the option to add extras onto your food without asking for them or paying more. While at the UC, it seems like either those things aren’t options or will cost you more money.

Marletto’s isn’t as accessible as the UC to a lot of students on campus, so it feels like there shouldn’t be a difference in quality between the two.

In all seriousness, the students pay a lot of money at the UC and it feels like they should have more options at their disposal that don’t involve taking someone away from an already busy line, or paying more just to add a little taste.

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