Text by: Andrea Adan and Clarist Zablan
Photos by: Glenn Barit, TNP Resident Photographer
(Updated Oct.26, 2014 |16:00)
PLARIDEL HALL, UP Diliman – There’s a new “M” in the college.
A new food provider opened its doors late August that provided some students, faculty, staff and college visitors a proximate fix to their growling stomachs.
Manterey Food Services operates the new canteen. They also run the food facility in the UP College of Human Kinetics.
The café offers a wide menu where its customers can select their pick of the day: the typical viand-rice meals, sizzlers, pasta selections and sweet fix-ins. And of course, the café is not complete without its coffee bar – a stopover perfect for students and professors who stay up too late the night before and needs quick caffeine boost.
The college canteen facility is now equipped with an air conditioning unit, providing a more comfortable eating experience to its customers even when the sun is at its peak.
However, the price range of the menu items is dramatically higher than that of the last food provider that occupy the spot – a typical viand-rice combo now ranges from P70 to P99 compared to the P35 to P50 of the past concessionaire. With this, students with tight budget normally buy their lunch from the kiosk outside the college or the “siomai rice” food stop at the Media Center Building instead.
Also, vegetable selections seem almost absent from their daily menu aside from the spoonful side dish they provide in every viand-rice order, making vegetarians and veggie lovers go to nearby college canteens to eat instead.
Service is also slow. Even though it is rare that a queue emerges, typical time of completing a purchase transaction is five minutes, and can even be longer especially for take outs. This is very disadvantageous to those with tight schedules, especially to students who sneak out of their classes to buy food to fill their empty tummies.
Given all this, it is apparent that M Café serves a very specific market: those who have a hefty daily budget. For a canteen that serves a college in a state university, it is advisable for the canteen to trim down their prices so that more students can afford their offerings.