UT Tyler Office of News and Information

Faces Behind the Scenes: UT Tyler Auxiliary Departments – Food Services

September 30, 2010

Editor's Note: Many staff work behind the scenes at The University of Texas at Tyler. As part of our “Faces Behind the Scenes” series, we highlighted some of the “unsung heroes within UT Tyler auxiliary departments with question and answer segments.

Mariani Shannon Mariani, The University of Texas at Tyler Food Services director:

Shannon Mariani has served UT Tyler as food services director for nine years.

“We have a great partnership and relationship with the campus community,” Mariani said. “When there is an issue, we listen to students, faculty and staff. When they have a request, we do our best to accommodate it, if possible.”

Why do you like working at UT Tyler?

“The people are simply great. They are fun to work with while challenging us to be creative at the same time. The people at UT Tyler are always looking for the best, whether it is academically, the services they provide, or the campus facilities. It is great to be involved with a campus that has such high standards.”

What are some misconceptions about the department, if any?

“I’m not really sure. There are typical ‘food services’ misconceptions, but I have not had them brought to my attention on our campus. I know we don’t have the old time ‘lunch lady’ who gives you a choice of grilled cheese or chicken strips every day.”

What are some of the main features within your area?

“We have seven dining venues: two coffee shops, the residential dining hall, Chick-fil-A, Subway, Grillworks and the C-Store. There are a lot of opportunities to eat on campus and at any one time a lot of catering going on out of the venues.”

What is a typical work day for you?

“Our team begins preparing for breakfast at 5:30 a.m. every morning Monday through Friday. They continue to cook, bake and prepare food throughout the day in all venues to feed anywhere up to 9,000 people per week. This does not include the numerous – sometimes as many as seven to 10 – catering events going on at any time of the day. While preparing the meals for the day, the team is ordering food to come in for the rest of the week. We receive up to 16 separate deliveries of products in a week.”

How many employees do you oversee?

“Anywhere from 60 to 80, depending on the semester and amount of business.”

Any fun facts, stats or tidbits about the department?

“The addition of gyros and various other menu items were derived due to student requests. So, let me know what type of food you would like, and if we can get it, we’ll bring it in! This is the first semester that not one of the dining venues was in a temporary facility in at least the last four years. Last year’s Patriot Burger winner was our top-selling burger for the remainder of the semester. Look for another Patriot Burger Throw Down to be coming soon. We are also working very hard with Chick-fil-A to get breakfast added to our menu soon.”

For more information, contact Mariani, 903.566.7074 or smariani@uttyler.edu.

Faces Behind the Scenes: UT Tyler Auxiliary Departments

Faces Behind the Scenes: UT Tyler Physical Plant


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