Food for thought

Boca campus grill and bar Coyote Jack’s might be closed this summer, but FAU isn’t going to let students go hungry.

Starting on June 28, FAU will be adding a test summer meal program. They are also offering a different selection of places to eat than last summer.

Unlike previous summers, both Papa John’s and Wendy’s, two popular offerings, are open this summer, according to Stacy Volnick, FAU’s interim assistant vice president of financial affairs.

“We really had a lot of interest from students to open Wendy’s for the summer,” said Volnick.

Last summer, Coyote Jack’s was open while both Papa John’s and Wendy’s were shut down. But because Coyote Jack’s does less business during the summer, Chartwells decided to act upon student response and change the summer venues, Volnick said. In addition to keeping these shops open, FAU’s Dining Services also extended the hours for Einstein Bros. Bagels and kept Chick-N-Grill open.

Students such as Markivia Thomas, a sophomore nursing student, are showing an interest in more fast food establishments being open instead of the traditional sit-down restaurant.

“I wasn’t too pleased with the selection [last summer],” said Thomas, who was found grabbing a quick bite to eat from Wendy’s. “It wasn’t my style.”

This trend toward wanting more fast food might be due in part to the proximity of the Breezeway cafeteria to the dorms. According to Volnick, data obtained from Chartwells shows that FAU’s students, faculty, staff and visitors won’t walk far to get to their food.

“Trends tell us that customers will not walk more than five minutes to get to a food venue. Five minutes is the absolute max. Three minutes is ideal,” said Volnick.

While some students might follow that trend, others seem to buck it.

“Things are definitely better this year,” said Shaun Sullivan, a graduate mathematics student, “but personally, I wouldn’t mind walking more than five minutes.”

According to Volnick, Chartwells’ data shows that students in the Boca Student Union would prefer to go to Coyote Jack’s or Outtakes, while summer resident students living in the dorms would prefer to be at the Breezeway cafeteria, the same area that increased its service this year.

FAU officials are also catering to summer resident students this year.
Currently, FAU has no summer meal plan for students who reside on campus during the summer months.

But beginning June 28, FAU will offer an optional pilot summer meal program. Officials are still working out the cost, but Volnick said the program will feed approximately 100 students.

The plan gives students one buffet-style dinner a day. However, the meal will not be served at the Centre Marketplace, due to overhead costs. As of press time, a meal area has not been selected.

Students seem to enjoy the idea of having a summer buffet open to them as it gives them the option of stockpiling food.

“They have to have it!” exclaimed Layla Oliveira, a junior in hospitality management who used to be a resident student. “I love the café. When I went, I would end up bringing a big box [full of food] home.”

Information about the test plan will be sent out to the students who have contracted for summer housing. Sign-up details will be included in that information. Students can also contact FAU Business Services at [email protected]