“I took a bottle of honey this past week for my sore throat. And I’d do it again too,” said an anonymous source concerning Rastall’s to-go policy.
The Rastall dining hall is an all-you-can-eat facility, but Bon Appetit’s Director of Operations Derek Hanson makes a clear distinction—“it’s all-you-can-eat inside of Rastall.”
Taking food and kitchen supplies from Rastall is an age old tradition at CC, so much so that Bon Appetit has factored it in their general plan for feeding the college. Though students might think the food provider is cracking down, officials say it’s just business as usual.
Catching students is just an everyday occurrence, and despite the enforcement, patrons still continue to take and take and take.
“The only thing you should be taking is a piece of hand fruit,” Hanson said. “We know students are taking more than one piece of hand fruit, but that is why we have the other locations like Benji’s and the Preserve where you can take food to-go.”
Hanson says he and his staff see a lot more than an excess of fruit leaving Rastall, however. Students take anything from jars of peanut butter, sandwiches, and cookies to even bowls and silverware.
“We do report stealing from Rastall, but that is usually for people taking jars of items,” said Beth Gentry, Director of Bon Appetit. “Typically, if a Bon Appetit staff member sees someone taking, for example, several pieces of fruit, they will be asked not to do it again.”
But, it happens—again and again.
“We see things really go down during block break because students will try to take food for camping,” said Hanson.
It may not seem like much, but Hanson says, “a couple pieces here and there over time really starts to add up to something considerable. It’s difficult for us to police everything.”
There are only a few times when college officials have been called in to deal with student food theft.
Hanson recalled a time when a student was found taking out sandwiches.
“He ended up having to work two shifts of midnight breakfast,” he said.
So far, that has been the worst of the consequences for a seemingly rampant student trend of food theft.
“We have never banned anyone from Rastall or threatened to ban,” said Gentry.
There are options, however, if a student wishes to take food to-go from Rastall.
“You can purchase an “eco-tainer” (to-go box) for a one-time price of $4.99. We just ask that you fill it to a reasonable amount,” Hanson said. “You should be able to close the top of the container.”
Students have a five-minute time limit to fill the reusable box at the cost of normal entry into Rastall if they wish to take food out of the facility.
“We just ask that you be respectful. We know we can’t control what students put in their backpacks,” said Hanson. “It just comes down to respect.”