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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Scott Kull: The new Director of Athletics
Abigail Taylor, Contributing Writer • April 16, 2024

What’s going on with AVI?

The+counter+of+the+Galleria+in+Phase+V%2C+one+of+the+dining+options+on+campus.+AVI+has+been+experiencing+staff+shortages+due+to+the+effects+of+COVID-19.++Photo+by+Paulina+Veremchuk
The counter of the Galleria in Phase V, one of the dining options on campus. AVI has been experiencing staff shortages due to the effects of COVID-19. Photo by Paulina Veremchuk

The reality of Wofford’s dining

AVI hiring signs are covering Wofford’s campus, from Burwell, to Milliken, to entrances of dorms, they are impossible to miss. Much like any other industry right now, AVI Food Systems has been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, causing worker shortages. Cherie Tyger, culinary director for Wofford College, offered her input on the challenges that AVI has faced at Wofford.

Currently, AVI is functioning with a 30%-50% staff shortage at all hours. During Wofford’s COVID-19 closure of last year, many of the workers had to find another source of income and have not returned to Wofford. 

“We have been very lucky that (we) have a great staff and management team that has pulled together to cover the gaps,” Tyger said. “Everyone has been working long days and weeks to make sure we are giving our students the best experience possible.”

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Tyger also expressed her gratitude for the student workers as they have helped keep Wofford dining functioning during times of limited staff members.

When asked about AVI’s new food truck, 429 (The Road Boss), Tyger explained that it was created in order to provide a new option for students, while also diverting traffic from Burwell during the ongoing renovations, as they have less seating and staff present. 

The food truck’s menu rotates weekly, “this way if you missed the menu item early in the week you know you can still catch it later,” Tyger said. “We always have a traditional meat option and a vegan or vegetarian item.”

Besides the food truck, many other changes have been made to on-campus dining options, leaving students with many questions. The Galleria has closed for the evenings on Fridays and Saturdays due to less traffic and fewer staff. 

“Our staffing is stretched very thin across campus, so it makes sense for us to focus our efforts on the days and times that students actually use those spaces,” Tyger said. “The Galleria only had a handful of customers on those days, so it made sense to close that space.”

Similarly, on the days that it is open for dinner, the Galleria is now accepting meal swipes for the same reason the food truck was put into place: to provide another dining option in addition to Burwell.

Another topic of conversation surrounding Wofford dining is the new Grill and Chill option on Friday evenings. Prior to COVID-19, there was a picnic option in the Galleria, which provided students with a dinner option while Burwell would close. 

Tyger explained that many students missed the picnic option, so the culinary team decided to revitalize it. 

“We wanted to do something different in the nice courtyard area that is underutilized,” Tyger said. 

Both the desire to utilize Burwell’s courtyard and students wanting the return on the Friday night picnic option resulted in the creation of the Grill and Chill. 

“We also thought it would be fun to do a themed menu each week,” Tyger said. “Every week we do something completely different, and the chefs have fun coming up with new themed ideas for the weekly event.” 

The culinary team has recently hired many new workers and are actively coming up with new and creative ideas to make Wofford dining the best it can be. They are always looking for workers, students and non-students alike, and are flexible with class schedules. 

“We love our student workers and are very happy to have them as members of our team,” Tyger said. “We have always had student team members and are always hiring.”

If you are interested in working with AVI, they are hiring for all locations. Information on how to apply is on the hiring signs posted throughout campus.

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