Trying to grab a quick bite to eat after Chapel is an impossible task. With several thousand hungry students leaving Chapel and attempting to eat lunch at the same time, it’s no wonder the food services around campus become overwhelmed. Dining Services has taken steps to shorten lunch lines, but they should do more to help students get through the lunch rush faster.
Hundreds of students visit the Hilton Food Court for lunch, and even more eat in the Bean or pick something up at another spot on campus.
This mass of hungry students creates food lines that ensure at least a 20-minute wait. Stopping at the McGlothlin Campus Center for lunch and getting to class on time is rare, if not impossible.
Waiting in line is not the issue. But when your schedule only factors in 10 minutes – a reasonable amount of time to grab fast food – a 35-minute wait is a problem.
Anthony Williams, chief auxiliary services officer, said daily Chapel makes lunchtime at ACU unique. Dining Services is easily overwhelmed with the thousands of students leaving Chapel in search of food.
Most classes after Chapel start at noon, leaving students, faculty and staff with a 30-minute window to fill. It appears many people use their half-hour break to grab lunch in the Campus Center.
ACU also added one of its largest freshmen classes ever, meaning the problems are only getting worse.
Over the past few years, the Campus Center has undergone major revamping and redesigning to accommodate the growing student body. Williams said the Food Court has added three additional registers to help manage the rush.
But simply creating more space and adding more registers hasn’t been enough to solve the problem of lengthy, lethargic lines. While lines do slow down around 12:15 p.m., students with noon classes are out of luck.
Williams said he is aware of the lunchtime frustrations. Dining Services also takes steps to try and fix the problem, with tools like the survey at the end of each semester that evaluates students’ opinions.
Even so, the Campus Center needs to make more food prior to the lunch rush, hire more employees for the lunchtime window and find ways to increase productivity.
Taking more steps to solve this problem will demonstrate ACU’s commitment to excellence.