After working for the Oregon Golf Club for 13 years, coming to Pacific University as the new Food Service Director of Aramark is a big change for Ryan Suyama.
It was while attending Western Oregon University where Suyama got his start in the food services industry. Suyama went to college at Western Oregon University and Clackamas Community College and played baseball for both institutions.
Ryan, his wife and his baby daughter are here to stay as they make a home for themselves at Pacific. “I definitely signed on to be here and don’t have
any plans of leaving in a year,” said Suyama. Although the demographics of those dining at Pacific are different from the Golf Club, Suyama is excited to take on this new challenge and see what he can bring to the table.
“I want to be able to create a buzz around students, make sure they are happy to be dining here and as well, I think there is an opportunity for the city in a sense,” said Suyama.
Suyama has already brought some changes to the dining experience for students and faculty with bringing in food trucks every Friday.
The two food carts that come park on the patio of the U.C. are Aww Daddie’s, a hot dog vendor, and McGetties a Hawaiian food cart.
Students are able to use their declining balance to pick up food on the go.Suyama’s enthusiasm and tenacity still is learning the ropes and rules of Aramark and seeing what he can do with the company.
A Hawaiian native, Suyama is from Oahu and wants to provide an authentic experience for native students and non-native students.
“That is something I take pride in so trying to get that a little more consistent on the Hawaiian side so the food we put out is a little more authentic that would be nice,” said Suyama. “I am just excited to be here and do something different and to be able to create something that people are excited about.”
One other station that received attention was the Worry Free station that provides gluten, dairy and meat free products to students.
The station was beefed up to provide eight different types of rice, six different types of beans and four different types of protein.
Those rotate with 12 or 13 different sauces, according to Suyama.
He said you can eat there every day for a year and never have the same one twice. Although Suyama has come onto the campus with big ideas for elevating the dining experience, change takes time.
“Unfortunately people don’t want to hear that there probably won’t be any big changes right away, maybe by second semester there will be noticeable change,” said Suyama. “Hopefully by next fall you will really be able to tell the difference on what we are doing in terms of food.”
Even though progress may be slow, the new Food Services Director wants to hurry the progress as quickly as possible.
“I am very impatient, I don’t like long term goals, I want them immediately, but we also need to understand what we do as a company first,” said Suyama.
Ultimately Suyama is here to make an impact on students’ dining experience. Although it may take a while, he wants Aramark to be a good experience for students.
“You can’t please everybody and I do understand, but at the same time I want to make sure we are the best at what we do,” said Suyama. “I definitely want Pacific and Aramark to be one of the best.”