Valley View Cafeteria will shut its doors for renovations after the spring semester to make room for three new fast-food chains. Current plans suggest that Chick-Fil-A, Panda Express and Farr’s Fresh will replace the cafeteria and are expected to open in the fall.
“The traditional cafeteria solution is not financially viable at an organization like UVU,” said Jacob Atkin, associate vice president of finance.
Last year, the cafeteria generated $585,000 in total revenue, compared to Costa Vida, which made almost $525,000. “Costa Vida uses approximately 1/6th of the floor space that the Valley View Room does. Based on the demand for campus and the revenue that it generates, it’s simply not a good business decision to continue with the cafeteria offerings,” said Atkin.
By utilizing the same floor space, the three chains are expected to make 250 percent more in revenue than the cafeteria.
“We will be replacing the Valley View Room with some of these more traditional retail outlets,” said Atkin.
“Not only are we trying to get them more options, but we are trying to give them the options that they want that are going to keep them here on campus so that they don’t feel like they ever have to leave campus,” said Atkin.
It is predicted that Chick-Fil-A will become more profitable than some existing venues on campus.
“Chick-Fil-A was not included in the Twitter poll that we did through UVUSA but they were mentioned quite a bit in the comments section,” said Andre Jones, presidential intern to the vice president of finance and administration, Val Peterson. The fast-food chain known for their chicken sandwiches was not originally included in polls because contracts between the chain and university were already in the works, according to Atkin.
Over half of the 350 students that participated in the Twitter poll voted for the addition of Panda Express over other potential chains such as Wendy’s, J-Dawgs and Little Caesar’s Pizza.
The current plans are to move Farr’s Fresh, which is located on the first floor of the Student Life and Wellness Center, to the second floor of the Sorensen Center. The menu will be modified to include soups and fresh salads.
The addition of the three fast-food chains will reduce the number of options for vegans. According to Atkin, the cafeteria sells 30-50 meals to the vegan and vegetarian population.
Kimberly Bojórquez is a Los Angeles native currently pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in Communication with an emphasis in journalism, and a minor in Latin American Studies. From 2017-18 she served as the editor-in-chief of the UVU Review and worked at ABC4’s morning show “Good Things Utah”, Salt Lake City Weekly and the Daily Herald.
She has written stories that relate to national issues, local crime and social justice. In her spare time, she loves to take photos, hike Utah’s national parks and attend live rock concerts.