The Bean is offering several solutions to alleviate overcrowding this year.
The freshman class is the largest it’s been in 25 years, and the sophomore retention rate is at 80 percent this year. Anthony Williams, chief business services officer, said the first month of school includes a greater demand for seats in the Bean, especially after Chapel.
To provide eating space for every student, the executive leadership team implemented the Overcrowding Mitigation Plan. This plan includes adding a grab-and-go station and putting six new tables in the Bean. Williams said the Bean patio will also be open to students.
Nathan Sheasby, chef manager of the Bean, is responsible for the grab-and-go station and the brunch menu.
“There are ways to get students quality food quicker so they don’t have to wait in the long lines at the stations,” said Sheasby. He said the grab-and-go station has been popular so far, but many students don’t know about the brunch menu yet.
Williams and Sheasby said they believe these options will help with overcrowding in the Bean.
“Our charge at the end of the day is to do the best for our students,” said Williams. He said families of students are paying almost $5,000 for a meal plan, so every student needs to have a place to eat.
According to Sheasby, more than 300 students each day have chosen to utilize the grab-and-go station and the food truck.
“People like having a variety of places to eat,” he said. “The more variety we are able to offer, the more value we are able to add to what the students are paying for meal plans.”
Sheasby listed the options students have in the Bean now:
Breakfast: 7 a.m.-10 a.m.
Brunch: 10 a.m.-11 a.m.
Lunch: 11 a.m.-2 p.m.: the Bean, grab-and-go, to-go option, the 1881 food truck
Mobile Saute: 2 p.m.-3 p.m.: the pasta station.
Grill: open all day
Salad: open all day
Dinner: 5 p.m.-8 p.m. (except Friday and Saturday: until 7 p.m.)
Late Night: 8 p.m.-11 p.m. (Monday-Thursday)