Pomona College’s Frank Dining Hall will remain closed on weekends until further notice, Dining Services wrote in an e-mail to the Pomona community Thursday. Frank was initially expected to revert to normal hours by the end of January, but the dining hall is still understaffed after the termination of 16 dining hall employees in December.
“Many of the workers we lost were high-level cooking professionals who were critical to the operation,” the e-mail said.
South Campus Representative Nick Lawson PO ’14 said that four of the college’s six highly-experienced Class Three chefs were terminated.
“We’ve been told that they have found two more, but I’m not sure if anyone has been hired yet,” said Lawson, who sits on the Food Committee.
“There are lots of applicants but not a lot of experience,” said Dean of Campus Life Ric Townes, also a member of the Food Committee.
The e-mail does not say when Frank is expected to return to its normal schedule.
“It is most certainly going to be closed until spring break and possibly later,” Lawson said. “They closed it on weekends with the expectation that they can get enough employees for it to open after [spring] break, but we’ll wait to reevaluate then.”
Lawson said the difficulty the college is having in the search for experienced chefs is unlikely a result of the college’s controversial decision to terminate employees who could not verify their employment documentation by a December deadline.
“That would be hard to believe, considering the amount of applications we got,” he said.
Frary Dining Hall will be open for extended hours on weekends and extra outdoor seating will be provided until Frank reopens.