On the other hand, since we see this device produce food the one time it is used, it would be pretty natural to assume it's there in order to provide food. Quite regardless of whether it's a cart-based dumbwaiter, a transporter-based dumbwaiter, an in situ synthesizer or a full replicator. Why not
provide duty stations with this utility?
...Except in the case of cart-based dumbwaiters, that is. Those take up massive amounts of space. The ship must already be incredibly cramped from all the turboshafts and corridors that block each other and, unless very
carefully laid out, hinder rather than facilitate access. Adding a third set of large cross section trunks (or fourth, if breathing air is still being moved around the old-fashioned way) would be a poor move.