Corps' fancy new mess hall first of its kind
2/22/2008 By Lance Cpl. B. A. Curtis, 2nd Marine Logistics Group
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — If you are tired of the same old mess hall food, relief has arrived in the form of a
new and improved mess hall that offers a revamped menu.
Sodexo, the corporation contracted to provide the Marine Corps with mess halls, re-opened the French Creek Mess Hall Building
420, Feb. 19, here, during a traditional ribbon cutting ceremony and preview for base commanders.
“Mess Hall 420 has been totally re-done to look and feel more like a food court with several different meal concepts available
continuously throughout the day to better meet lifestyle demands,” said Suzanne Snyder, the senior director of marketing, culinary
and quality assurance, for Sodexo Government Services.
The facility presents Camp Lejeune service members with three hot food sections that provide menus inspired by popular
commercial restaurants. The menus are also a result of research that was conducted on what types of foods Marines desired in a
“Menu development for Mess Hall 420 began with feedback from our annual customer surveys, focus groups and research
comparing similar demographics from Sodexo’s Campus Services Division to better understand the expectations, interests and
preferred flavors of today’s Marine,” Snyder said.
Some of the improvements featured at the mess hall include exciting new menus inspired by exotic cuisines such as Asian stir fry
and Mexican tortillas and burritos.
For those looking for a lighter meal, the mess hall also offers an extensive soup and salad bar.
“In this particular mess hall we have a station called Fusion, where we’re actually preparing items made to order upon request so the
customer can receive the freshest possible product,” Chef Robert Lafond, the director of concept development for Sodexo said.
In addition to the made to order meal stations, the mess hall's vibrant colors and stimulating graphics promote a low stress
atmosphere and will later have flat panel televisions for entertainment. Mess Hall 420 also stays open longer for those service
members who would not have the opportunity to get meals due to abnormal work schedules.
“Our focus groups told us that the Marines wanted the opportunity to be able to come and get a meal during what we would call non-
traditional hours,” Lafond explained. “We were finding that giving them the ability to get a meal on their own schedule was giving us
an opportunity to capture more people, bring them in and satisfy their need for food.”
Marines at Camp Lejeune are accustomed to appreciating the food and supplies they receive but openly welcome the new flavors,
contemporary design, and unrestricted meal schedule the refurbished facility provides. Before long, the rest of the Marine Corps
may just have the opportunity to indulge in gourmet fare like the lucky leathernecks on the East Coast.
The new hours for Mess Hall 420 are Monday thru Friday 5:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and weekends and holidays from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00
|MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (Feb. 21, 2008) â Marine Corps Base Camp
Lejeune Commander, Col. Richard Flatau and a Sodexo Corporation Employee cut the ribbon
to the French Creek 420 Mess Hall, Feb. 19, here. The ribbon cutting was the ceremonial
reopening of the mess hall that had been closed since 2006. Marines actually began being
served at the newly renovated mess hall, Feb. 20. The facility presents Camp Lejeune service
members with three stations that prepare menus inspired from restaurants and research
conducted on what Marines desired in a Mess Hall. The facility is also open for extended hours.