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New time to eat: Dining services changes operating hours

Many returning students might have noticed dining options on campus have adjusted their hours this school year.

Bradley’s dining services are operated by Aramark. Gayle Hanson, Aramark’s general manager at Bradley, explained the changes are an effort to optimize the resources and ultimately offer more options in the Business and Engineering Complex.

“There was a review of our services in various areas and with less utilization in some of our locations, reductions occurred allowing for a shift to offer additional services for the new BECC Building,” Hanson said. “We are looking forward to the new Coffee Café opening in October and adding the location to the dining services offerings at Bradley University.”

In the Michel Student Center, instead of being open until 1 a.m. every day, Moe’s Southwest Grill and Marketplace Deli now close at midnight. Both places now open at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, two and a half hours earlier than the previous semester.

In the library, Stacks Cafe now closes an hour early at 11 p.m. from Monday through Thursday and closes two hours early at 3 p.m. on Fridays. The cafe used to be open on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., but is now closed all day Saturday. On Sunday, it opens at 5 p.m., two hours later than the previous semester, and closes at 11 p.m., an hour earlier than the previous semester.

In the Markin Recreational Center, Jerry’s Juice Bar now closes at 6 p.m. from Monday through Thursday, two hours earlier than the previous semester.

On the other hand, Geisert Dining Hall extended its weekend hours. It is opened from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on weekends, and no longer has a one-hour shutdown period from 4-5 p.m. on both days.

Abigail Peterson, a sophomore marketing major, thinks the changes in the student center and Center Court might be an inconvenience for students who miss the dining halls’ hours.

“I think the hour changes are frustrating,” Peterson said. “If I have to skip dinner because I have class or I have to study, then after 8 [p.m.] … I have a window of like four hours to get food. Really after 9:30, the student center is the only option.”

According to Hanson, all the hour changes are based on statistical data and the utilization of the services.

“Changes in the dining program are discussed at the monthly dining advisory meetings and with the university leadership representatives that Aramark reports to as the dining managers on campus,” Hanson said. “When changes are suggested we use statistical data pulled from our guest activity to see what days or times are most popular and which locations are busiest.”

The information provided by the university stated the change in student center hours reflects the decreased demand. Stacks Cafe in the library only sees around 50 transactions on average on Saturdays during the six hours of service.

Peterson is concerned about the dining options outside of the dining hall on weekends.

“I know Chick-Fil-A is closed on Sunday, and I’m trying to not eat fried food, so I can have a salad,” Peterson said. “And Moe’s, I know my roommate doesn’t like Moe’s, so her options are also shortened. And if you are gluten-free or dairy-free, your options are even smaller.”

At Geisert, they extended the hours of the popular action station.

“We have added more options at Geisert and now have a made-to-order station Monday to Friday from 1:30 to 4 p.m.,” Hanson said. “Friday, the made-to-order station is now open at dinner and on Saturdays and Sundays guests can get omelets and eggs to order until 4 p.m., which we did not offer last year.”

According to the information provided by the university, the cafe in the Business and Engineering Complex will operate about 50 hours per week and will actually increase the total hours of service on campus.

Given the delayed opening of the Business and Engineering Complex, Peterson thinks that the implementation of the hour changes is a little too soon.

“When the reason that they shorten the hours was because the new building was going to open, and that was going to have something, so I understand that they need to cut hours,” Peterson said. “But since the building didn’t open, I feel like they shouldn’t have cut hours.”

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