Several new food options are coming to campus during the Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 semesters to replace the Valley View Café and The Rotisserie.
According to an information sheet provided by dining services, Chick-fil-A will open Jan. 2, 2018. Panda Express will be open in October. J Dawgs will replace Farr’s Fresh in the Student Life and Wellness Center in September; The Roll Up Crepe will also be completed in September. Farr’s will be moving to a new location in November.
According to Jacob Atkin, the associate vice president of finance, the changes are intended to save money while also providing students with a diverse choice of food options.
“We selected Chick-fil-A, Panda Express and Farr’s Fresh, which is going to be soup, salads and sandwiches, to go in the Valley View Room. We felt like we were hitting more of the mainstream, target audience with those choices,” Atkin said. “Then we got Guru’s … because it addresses all of the food options that were eliminated when we got rid of the cafeteria.”
Guru’s will be replacing The Rotisserie in the Classroom Building and is scheduled to open near the beginning of the fall semester. It was always the plan to close The Rotisserie and replace it because it was losing an estimated $10,000 a month, Atkin said. However, the closing happened sooner than expected.
“The closure feels abrupt because the day after we posted the last date signs, someone from university leadership told us we had to be out that day,” former Rotisserie supervisor Chris Loftus said.
There were few employee losses because management knew of its eventual closing and offered students jobs at different university owned restaurants. However, hours were not immediately available which strained the students in limbo, Loftus said.
“It wasn’t until June when we all knew it was going to close, but there was no set date,” former Rotisserie employee Amara Bissonette said. “I was able to find another job within dining services with the help of the managers.”
The Roll Up Crepe will be in the Computer Science Building, though the exact location has yet to be disclosed.
Chick-fil-A and Panda Express were scheduled to open the first week of the fall semester, but they will be delayed due to floor plans being late. However, there will still be food options available to accommodate the nearly 37,000 students that are projected to attend the university during fall.
Atkin addressed concerns that there were not enough options to feed the incoming students.
“At least for this fall … while some of these venues are being constructed because they aren’t going to be open by the first day of school, we are going to invite food trucks to come to campus,” Atkin said.
The food trucks will be in faculty parking lot L13 between the Student Life and Wellness Center and Fulton Library.
These trucks are difficult to predict because the university does not enter into contracts with them, so the Dining Services website will be updated daily with a list of trucks available and the times, Atkin said.
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