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The Student News Site of Saint Louis University

The University News

The Student News Site of Saint Louis University

The University News

Changes planned to improve dining

With a new food service on campus, changes to food quality, type and facilities are expected during the next two years. Chartwells, having been awarded a 10-year food service contract last week, will assume control of all on-campus dining in early June.

“I’m excited about what’s going to happen,” said Kathy Humphrey, vice president for Student Development. “We’re committed to making a change in our food quality and facilities.”

Students will begin to see improvements next year in the food quality and presentation in the cafeterias.

Mike Cappel, Student Government Association president, said, “When people come back, we’re going to have much more exciting concepts; food quality will increase.”

Cafeteria Dining

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Humphrey explained that Griesedieck Cafeteria will see a drastic menu change with many more foods cooked in front of the students. “We’re trying to move away from the food-sitting-in-a-pan dining,” she said.

Some of these new features willl include a Market Carvery, featuring rotisserie chicken and carved meats, a Trattoria featuring pasta dishes, an Origens featuring ethnic cuisines and a Sandwich Central featuring upscale deli meats.

DeMattias Cafeteria will remain as a cafeteria next year, but it will be converted to retail for the 2003-2004 school year. According to Humphrey, this decision was made because that cafeteria services fewer students than the other two.

It is a drain on the entire system, she said.

Humphrey hopes to make Reinert Cafeteria “a destination,” with food that students cannot get anywhere else so they will intentionally walk to Reinert to eat.

She is not sure exactly how many of these changes will be made next year as opposed to the year after, but notes that students returning next year will see definite changes in cafeteria dining.

Stuart Henning, Chartwells regional director, said, “Students will notice a substantial difference in food preparation next year, with day-to-day programs and events on a weekly basis.” Chartwells will be conducting market research on campus to determine what food types students are looking for in their cafeterias.

Without the BMC

With the Busch Memorial Center closing for renovations, campus dining next year will greatly be reduced, but a few steps are being taken to provide additional food venues.

One plan up for consideration is the expansion of Griesedieck Cafeteria into Boland Plaza, adding 200 additional seats. This plan is still tentative, depending upon final bids. Another plan is to convert the Convenience Store located in the basement of Clemens Hall into a soup, sandwich and salad shop.

Throughout campus, sandwich carts will be placed to provide a quick grab-`n’-go lunch. Another sandwich/snack stand is being considered for placement outside Kelly Auditorium. Expanding Ameren Caf?, in the business school, is also being explored.

Fusz Food Court will likely see some new types of food. Chartwells is the only food provider with a contract with Wendy’s, and one is being considered for the food court. Chick-Filet may also move to Fusz Food Court. Subway and an ice cream place will remain for sure, Humphrey said.

Renovated BMC Plans

Plans for the renovated BMC, opening in August 2003, are still tentative, but Chartwells representatives are playing a major role in designing their dining facilities.

Au Bon Pain, similar to St. Louis Bread Co., will be the stand-alone branded concept in the BMC, located outside the other food court options. It will offer soup, salad and sandwiches.

The food court, like the current Marketplace, will offer fresh-grilled foods, a Pacific Rim featuring asian cuisine, Double Treat Bakery featuring baked goods and a Garden Emporium with different salads.

A sports bar, yet to be named, will be located in the current Billiken Club. The sports bar will feature burgers and fries. It will also serve alcohol. Games, such as skeeball and arcade games, are also being planned for it.

“The sports bar will be the funkiest place in the new student center,” Humphrey said.

Chartwells will also run the 1,300 square feet grocery story Outtakes in the student center. Humphrey assured that students will find reasonable, grocery-store prices on milk, cereal, fruit, meat and many other essentials. Krispy Kremes will also be available in the grocery store.

“Outtakes is designed to support students in apartments,” Humphrey said.

As none of these plans are set in stone, Humphrey says Chartwells will change and adapt based on student desires.

SGA President-elect Mike Rozier said, “They are ready and willing to make necessary changes, and I am excited about making those changes appear.”

Other vendors that Chartwells has agreements with and could be potential food court items include Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Burger King, Starbucks, Sbarro Pizza, “TCBY” and Blimpie.

Catering Options

Chartwells will also serve as the primary caterer on campus, with an exclusive contract to all BMC catering.

Elsewhere on campus other caterers may be used, thus encouraging competition and high quality, Humphrey said.

One new feature student organizations will notice is the student catering menu, entitled “No Frills Student Catering.”

“These prices are so reasonable for student events,” Humphrey said.

This catering menu features popular catering options, without the fancy setup and high prices. Students would place their order 48 hours in advance and then pick up the order from the catering kitchen.

Some price comparisons between the Chartwells’ No Frills catering and Sodexho’s current catering prices include: a fresh fruit tray for $15 compared to $35; cheese cubes tray for $20 compared, to $37.50; assorted muffins for $6 a dozen compared to $18 a dozen; and jumbo cookies for $3.60 a dozen compared to $7.50 a dozen.

“Student organizations should love the fact that they can get all this stuff at basically cost,” Cappel said.

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