Temaki, Smoothie King remain closed due to staffing shortages


Dreyma Beronja

Dreyma Beronja/NW SMOOTHIES AND SUSHI—Temaki and Smoothie King, a dining services eatery on campus, has been closed since Aug. 23 due to staffing shortages.

Dreyma Beronja, News Editor

Since Aug. 23, Temaki and Smoothie King have been closed due to staffing shortages.

Due to COVID-19, director of dining services, Paul Schoonveld, said that the pandemic has impacted their ability to recruit team members and keep all dining locations open.

“Early on it was the uncertainty of the pandemic that thwarted our ability to recruit team members and that continues even today,” Schoonveld said. “We have improved our wages in Dining Services to better compete with the local market, continue to focus on the ability to create schedules for our team members that are mutually beneficial, and are always looking for opportunities to show gratitude to our dedicated team.”

Dining services is actively working towards reopening Temaki and Smoothie King by May. To have the dining location open, it requires a student team of 25-35 as well as full-time staff. Currently, full-time staff have been temporarily moved to other operations due to limited student staff in those locations said Schoonveld.

“The employment crisis is certainly not exclusive to NMU Dining,” Schoonveld said. “Most departments on campus, local businesses, and even the larger corporate retail outlets are struggling to attract staff.  There are a number of reasons why this may be occurring, but we continue to focus on providing students with a wide variety of employment opportunities that can be used to build resumes, strengthen soft skills, and demonstrate time management skills to potential future employers.”

Students may notice, however, that Melted, a popular dining location on campus that was closed, is back open. This is due to Melted requiring less staff to operate the location.

“Melted is conveniently located in the center of campus and provides us the opportunity to focus on our core mission of serving the campus community, particularly our resident hall students,” Schoonveld said. “Melted also requires a fraction of the team members that Temaki and Smoothie King requires, and fills a need at the critical lunch period of the day.”

In hopes of continuing to learn and grow from past semesters, Schoonveld said that dining services is spending time focusing on process evaluation, service structure, organizational structure and staff recruitment opportunities.

“We also continue to research opportunities to leverage technology to support all aspects of Dining,” Schoonveld said. “The world continues to evolve and change, and NMU Dining will continue to adapt, grow, and improve to meet the needs of the campus community, just as we have done throughout the pandemic.”

Students who are looking for an on-campus job with dining services can inquire about jobs via their website.