Stu­dents and college employees are still adjusting to the new blue con­veyor belt in the Knorr Dining Room. Jo Kroeker | Col­legian.

Stu­dents and college employees are still adjusting to the new blue con­veyor belt in the Knorr Dining Room. Hillsdale College replaced the old dish­washer and con­veyor belt at the beginning of this semester. According to staff, the upgrade brings both new ben­efits and problems to the cafe­teria.

“Though the system works steadily, we typ­i­cally have issues on the student end due to dishes piling up,” Mar­keting Manager William Persson ‘17 said.

Persson, along with other staff members, con­firmed that the diner traffic at the end of lunch has been tough to alle­viate. Nearby lunch staff often have to step in to manage the piles of dishes left by stu­dents heading to 1 p.m. classes.

“The best thing a student can do is to not stack dishes too high,” Persson said. “Just wait for a second for a clear spot on the con­veyor belt to set your dish down.”

One way Bon Appétit is diverting traffic is the new Café Fresco in Kendall Hall. The grab ‘n’ go food stop offers quick meal options in exchange for dining hall swipes. On its first day, March 26, 85 stu­dents pur­chased food from the Kendall cafe, with nearly 160 showing up the fol­lowing day. According to General Manager Dave Apthorpe, the café should reduce the lines at both the cafe­teria entrance and the dish station.

“We may have to shift more staff to the dish room at crunch time,” the manager said.

Despite traffic issues, par­tic­u­larly at lunch time, the new dish washing machine is a welcome improvement, according to Apthorpe. When the Grewcock Student Union opened in 2007, the cafe­teria was run on a “tray system,” but Apthorpe said the tran­sition to a trayless dining room paved the way for the new machine. With the old machine, he explained, “a lot of func­tions hadn’t been working for a while.”

“The main­te­nance crew was tired of trying to patch it together,” Apthorpe said.

Cashier Eliz­abeth “Ms. Liz” Maynard said that main­te­nance men have come in to work on the new machine mul­tiple times, but it is a “better system.” The dish room staff had to adjust to the new equipment, lunch time rush, and unre­turned dishes. The new con­veyor belt does not revolve end­lessly like the old one, forcing staff to do dishes quickly and imme­di­ately.

“The cup sit­u­ation made it hard because they had less and had to keep running them through,” Maynard said regarding the shortage of plastic coffee cups in the cafe­teria.

While the machine runs well, it no longer lets trays fit through the con­veyor belt’s opening. According to Maynard, elderly guests use trays to eat and have to be directed away from the dish station to set them above the garbage cans instead.

The new dish­washer also has func­tions that Bon Appétit plans to activate in the future. It has the capa­bility to be self-cleaning, according to Apthorpe.