Q&A: Rick Flores, general manager of Dining Services

Rick Flores is a busy man. Since the introduction of the new dining meal plan this year, the general manager of Dining Services has been fielding questions while making sure dining operations run smoothly.

Flores was born in Corpus Christi and attended high school in Brownsville. After high school, he headed back to Corpus Christi where he eventually attended Texas A&M at Kingsville. Flores now lives in the Fort Worth area with his wife, Cheri, and their two teenage daughters.

Celebrating 12 years with Dining Services this year, Flores began as the director of catering at TCU. He left the job in 2000, only to find his way back nine months later as the university was in the planning stages for the Brown-Lupton University Union.

Q: How is the transition to the new meal plan going?

A: Transition has been good. It’s a matter of whom you talk to, and from our side it’s been a long time coming. We started planning this a long time ago to get it to this point. It’s given us the opportunity to have new equipment and be able to offer a different style of service to students.

Q: How have students responded?

A: I think positively. It’s been mixed with the upperclassmen as opposed to the freshmen. Obviously, it was a big change for the upperclassmen. The biggest thing that we’ve heard, which is kind of strange, but a lot of them felt like being freshmen all over again because they are learning a new meal plan. That has been the hardest thing for them to do, adjust.

Q: How are you handling the criticism of the new meal plan?

A: It’s part of the things that we try to take in. The biggest part of my job and the only reason we’re here is because of students. It’s very important that we listen to what is out there from students’ comments, whether they are positive or negative. The thing that we like is having the opportunity to work with SGA and the different dining committees making sure the students have an avenue to take their concerns.

Q: Because your job deals with food, how are you in the kitchen?

A: I cook. My wife, it’s not her favorite thing to do. I like doing different types of food and try practicing what I see when the chefs here do something.

Q: What is in your iPod right now?

A: I have an MP3, and right now my favorite is “American Boy” by Estelle. I like Katy Perry and country music as well.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A: Play golf. I enjoy getting out and having some time to relax and enjoy a game.