Food services go online

January 29, 2015


Staff Reporter


Over the past few years, Louisiana Tech students had to manage meal plans in person, but now students have another option.


Through Aramark, the company that manages food services at Tech, students can now use Tech’s campus dining website.


“When I came here about a year and a half ago, there was no online system,” Jessica Pratt, an Aramark marketing manager, said. “Other schools have been doing online systems for at least a couple of years, so when I came in as marketing manager that was something that I thought was really important and that we needed to try to get as fast as possible.”


Pratt said students can sign up for meal plans for future quarters and manage their declining balance online instead of going to the Tech Express office.


“It’s a very technological world for students, so we need to be on board with that,” Pratt said. “I do think the number of people going to the Tech Express office to sign up for meal plans will decrease a little bit, but students don’t want to walk somewhere, even if it is 50 feet. They want to sign up quickly and easily and use something that doesn’t take up too much time for them.”


With the online option now available, she said students have already begun signing up and managing their declining balance online.


“We are getting more and more students as the word gets further out,” Pratt said. “Because it is a college, it takes a while for the word to travel to almost every student.”


Although the online management of food services is in effect, students and parents can still manage meal plans and declining balance in person.


“Parents still enjoy face-to-face interaction and some students do, too,” Pratt said. “So the Tech Express office is still absolutely necessary for that reason.”


Pratt said people who are possibly skeptical about the new program have nothing to worry about.


“Louisiana Tech and Aramark would not endorse anything that isn’t absolutely 100 percent safe and reliable,” Pratt said. “We ran pilot programs and Aramark had us run through it to make sure it was reliable, safe and workable for students.”


In order to get the program going, Pratt said it took a long process.


“It took at least a six-month process,” Pratt said. “We had to make sure everybody at Aramark and Tech were on board with the idea.”


With students now able to use the Internet as an option for management, Pratt said she hopes her number one priority comes to life.


“My No. 1 priority was and is to bring students convenience which they did not have,” Pratt said. “I think it’s important that we are a university that is represented as a unit that is ahead of the game so I think that we are doing that here with this program and that we are continuously looking for ways to provide to our students.”


Email comments to lmc074@latech.edu.


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