Bon Appétit Management Company
When Merton first began working for Wesleyan Dining Services 15 years ago, he did so because he wanted a schedule that would allow him plenty of time to spend with his children. Since then, he has taken what was initially “just a job” and made it into a passion. He reflects Bon Appétit’s philosophy that everything should be customized and, through his attention to the individual, has completely changed the Wesleyan student’s dining experience. Merton is adored by everyone. He takes requests from customers for special pizzas, Stromboli, and calzones and has individualized entrées waiting for many of them each day. Michael Strumpf, resident district manager, says that Merton’s tendency to go above and beyond has resulted in “a bit of competition…especially at the pizza station. Because of his work ethic, all of the other chefs are empowered to come up with a new pizza everyday because everyone wants to create the best and most unique variety.” Even more special is that Merton notices if a student is vegetarian or has another type of unique dietary preference. He creates specific dishes for these customers without their even having to ask.
Merton understands that many of the students he interacts with every day are away from their families for the first time. He feels that this affords him the opportunity to get to know them individually and perhaps make them feel just a little more at home. Merton proclaims, “I just love my job! I’m clearly working for a different kind of company…I feel proud.”