New menu items, extended hours and other options were brought to the different on-campus food locations by AVI Fresh this semester.
Joe Balaban, resident district manager for AVI, said that hearing student requests and feedback was important for updating the facilities.
“We do the best we can for the student body,” Balaban said. “We are aware that student life and the food options are what make students want to be on campus.”
One new addition is the new T&B, which used to be branded as a small coffee shop with some grab-and-go items and snacks. Now the location offers a much more expanded food menu.
Balaban said that the new hot breakfast sandwiches being offered at T&B are very popular, along with the soups and salads that are sold throughout the day. T&B now has an option similar to that of Panera Bread, with a pick two combo, where you can choose between sandwiches, soups, salads, and breads. All of the bread is made in-house daily.
There is also an expansion for the bakery case with a new variety of bagels, scones, muffins, and the newest, rock tarts.
With the library under construction last semester, AVI opened a cafe in the University Union to make up for the loss of T&B.
“The Union Café, though convenient for quite a few students in comparison to the library, only saw about half of the business as it normally would have,” Balaban said.
T&B is now opened on Sundays as well from 2-9.
Umami, located in Weisenfluh Dining Hall, is now offering extended hours during the week, being open Monday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. to allow for a dinner rush during the week. Weisenfluh is now allowing meal swipes for select menu items on Saturdays and Sundays from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Balban said the first weekend with this change was very successful.
“On an average weekend, we serve around 45 people total,” Balaban said. “This past weekend, we served 153 on Saturday and 189 on Sunday. News travels fast and this has received a lot of positive feedback.”
The Campus Grill food truck is also extending the hours on weekdays to accommodate students with afternoon classes. The Campus Grill will now close at 4 p.m., instead of the previous 2:30 p.m. closing time.
Along with other changes to dining options, Boozel is also going through some changes. “Café Plus” is the newest addition. New display cases are located near the registers at the front of Boozel, with a rotation of premium meat options daily. Some of the meats include New York Strip Steak and duck.
Students can also use their meal swipes to purchase these meals. A receipt is handed over at the register and the student then has to go to the grill, where their order will be specially made. Boozel serves eight to ten of these daily.
As far as Boozel Express goes, walking tacos are now added to the menu, which as Balaban said are wildly successful. Boozel Express also introduced Boozel bowls, which consist of popcorn chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, and corn. In addition to this, housemade sausage, potato skins, and a variety of sandwiches still remain on the late night menu. Boozel is now the only on-campus location featuring late night hours, with Starbucks now opened until midnight Monday-Thursday.
AVI also introduced the “GET’ app this semester. Students will soon have the option to preorder food form T&B in the library and pick it up within about a 15-minute range.
“This is a great way to introduce the program and get our feet wet at T&B, and then add other locations as well,” Balaban said.
AVI will also offer new events on campus which Balaban said are aiming to increase campus involvement. These events include Quaker Steak and Lube’s “Tower of Terror” contest, “Rock Comedy”, an open mic night for music and comedy. Weisenfluh will also have a restaurant night on Feb. 14 for Valentine’s Day, with students being able to place reservations or walk-in.
Boozel will also have “Meet the Dietician” every other week in Boozel, where a dietician will come to campus and speak about a number of topics ranging from healthy eating options, sugars, and sports nutrition.
“The dietician will also meet with students individually by appointment,” Balaban said.