Faces of Colby: Bon Apetit’s Michael Foss

Colby students love food and visit the dining halls often. After long days of practice, classes, and studying, they enjoy sitting down to a good meal. With accessibility to online dining hall menus, it is easy for students to take their pick from a wide range of cuisines. Much of this variety is due to Michael Foss, a Dining Services Manager here. He, along with the other Dining Services Managers, oversee the operations of the dining halls and are responsible for many of the culinary options students have, from burrito bars to build-your-own noodle bowl stations.

“We always try for lots of options,” Foss said of the menus. “It’s hit or miss sometimes, some days, the menus are better, and some days they’re worse, but ultimately, there’s effort going into the food we put out every single day.”

Foss is relatively new to Colby, having held his job for a little over a year. According to Foss, he came on when Colby switched from Sodexo to Bon Appetit Management Company. This change was something that not only increased the quality of food served in the dining halls but also attracted new employees, like Foss, as others left with Sodexo.

“When I first came here, I applied with Sodexo. They offered me a job for $12.50 an hour, which isn’t a lot.  I thought ‘I’m looking for a change, not actual change’. But then, Bon Appetit came and took over, and I was able to get a better position as a manager, and now here I am.”

  However, despite the fact that Foss has only worked at Colby for about a year, the local Maine resident has been familiar with the school for a long time.

“I’ve always spent a lot of time on the Colby campus. Actually, I’m a part of this group with a bunch of other people. it’s called the OFFL, which stands for the Old Folks Football League. It’s a group here at Colby that meets on Sundays. I’ve been playing with them for a while, I think for the past seven or eight years. And I’ve been playing basketball here for 16 years. It also helps that my wife works here. She works in development. So even before I got this job, I knew the school pretty well. I think that really helped push me towards my current position.”

According to Foss, he had worked over 50 jobs before Colby– in his words “way too many to count.” His longest-held position was at an Applebee’s, where he worked for 14 years. However, even in light of this breadth of experience, Foss claims his position at Colby is the most rewarding job he has held yet.

“I just really enjoy it here. Everyday is different, everyday is something new and it’s such a good environment to work in. I’d really just like to thank the students here for that. I honestly was, being new to the college scene, expecting a lot more chaos, but I’d like to thank them for their manners. I’ve heard some interesting stories from the Spa, but I haven’t really encountered any wild college antics myself. In the dining halls, everyone is polite and seems to respect what we do. It’s nice coming into work everyday and knowing you are appreciated.”

Foss also claims that the athletic facilities are another big bonus of working at Colby, especially with the new athletic center that is currently being constructed by Johnson Pond.

“I am looking forward to [it’s completion]. I love sports, and so I love taking advantage of all the facilities offered by Colby. I play basketball here, I play hockey, I play on the tennis courts, all of it. Funnily enough, I don’t actually follow any sports teams or anything, but I just love to play, and I love it here.”

Foss can be spotted in any of the dining halls on campus, whether it be interacting with other staff members or swiping cards and chatting with students. If you’re interested in learning more about him, he would be happy to talk to you, either in the dining hall or just around campus. When asked what he wanted to say to Colby students, he summed it up in a simple but sweet five words.

“Thank you, and bon appetit!”