Changes to Tyler’s menu draw criticism from students


Tyler’s adds new menu options.

by Quinn Slaven, Staff Reporter

Simpson students must say goodbye to chicken wings, jalapeño poppers and other favorites from Tyler’s Grill. Sodexo, the food service company responsible for all on-campus dining, still manages the restaurant in Kent, but at the start of the Fall 2019 semester the menu looks quite different.  

New additions include personal pizzas, cheese ravioli and breaded mushrooms. The standard meal options—including cheeseburgers and chicken tenders—remain untouched. 

According to cook Janet Smith, the changes are random.

“There are regular switches in what we offer and there will still be monthly specials,”  Smith said.

In the past, monthly specials have included mashed potato bowls, macaroni and cheese bites and breakfast burritos, but it’s unclear if those will return this semester. 

Some students are unhappy about the changes. Junior Ben Schiltz will resort to making his own meals unless last year’s menu items make a comeback. 

“I probably won’t go there at all now,” said Schiltz, “I was already disappointed in the food at Simpson, and Tyler’s was really the only good place to get a meal.”

Last year’s menu had more options and Schiltz believes items like fried mushrooms will only appeal to a very small portion of the student body. He sees replacing several favored items with a few less popular choices as a bad move.

Senior Tori Vaudt, who plays defender on the women’s soccer team, is worried about the available dinner options for athletes. 

“Sometimes we don’t get done with practice until everything but Tyler’s is closed,” Vaudt said, “They took off healthier options like wraps and now we’re just left with fried foods.”

Schiltz and Vaudt aren’t alone in their disappointment. Smith says she’s received mostly negative feedback about the new Tyler’s menu. 

“Students were not very happy,” Smith said. 

She believes the quesadillas and wraps are missed the most, but personal pizzas have been a hit so far. 

The personal pizzas are available in cheese, pepperoni and veggie. They cost $5.49 and are roughly the size of a DVD—drawing into question the value of portions being served. 

A standard board meal at Tyler’s features a main entrée, fries and a drink and comes out to $7.00. Two cheeseburgers, fries and a drink from McDonald’s only costs $5.99. 

Still, Tyler’s remains a popular dining destination for Simpson students. On four trips to the restaurant, employees politely declined to comment on the changes only because they were busy fulfilling orders.   

Tyler’s is also the only dining option available to students in the late evenings—it’s open until 11:00 p.m. on weeknights. Those not living in apartments with a kitchen can pick-up late-night comfort food to fuel their studies.

The Sodexo page on Simpson’s website,, provides a customer survey option, but it hasn’t accepted responses since May 2019. Catering Director Paul Clark could not be reached for comment.

Change is often met with skepticism. Time will tell whether Simpson students find new menu favorites or new places to spend their money.