The Hilton Food Court got a face lift to reduce the amount of clutter in the Campus Center over the summer.
“The question came up, ‘What can we do to renovate the food court so that we can accommodate more tables, more chairs and make it more of a full food court?'” said Tom Arellano, senior food service director.
According to Anthony Williams, chief auxiliary services officer, the data gathered from 1,500 online student surveys and focus groups were used to answer this question.
“We have very high expectations for our dining program,” Williams said, “because of that we pay close attention to how it’s being perceived by our students.”
The order line at Einsteins Bros Bagels, a favorite among students since 2010, was rearranged to create a better flow.
Last year, students waited in a long zigzagged line in front of the restaurant to grab juice from the “Grab and Go” refrigerator, order their bagels, pay and then walk out behind the line to get their coffee.
“It didn’t lend for a lot of efficiency for the staff, nor did it provide the best customer experience,” Williams said.
Arellano said they rearranged the Einsteins setup to where the line now travels in a straight line to the left with the coffee machines added to the end.
The Chick-fil-A also received an upgrade.
“In our dining style scores, we always received the lowest scores at our Chick-fil-A that the staff was not friendly and it was because of the design,” Arellano said.
The new design is open and allows for face-to-face interaction with the staff.
Because Chick-fil-A is the busiest restaurant in the food court, a new cash register exclusively for Chick-fil-A’s customers was brought in.
The tables and chairs have been moved to the center of the room to allow students to move faster and more efficiently through the food court.
“The impact of this change is that it’s going to allow a lot more mingle space, a lot more opportunities for students to gather,” Arellano said.
Williams said they are still talking with Aramark Dining Services on other ways to improve the food court.
“We are constantly evaluating Quiznos and Pizza Hut,” Williams said. “We want to use our analysis from last year to lead to some of the things we’re going to be doing this year with respect to those locations.”
Williams said they may be replaced with other, more in-demand restaurants, such as an Asian cuisine restaurant.
Also in conversation is the addition of a real Starbucks to the library as opposed to the “We Proudly Brew” station currently there. The new Starbucks will provide a larger variety of drinks and the ability to accept Starbucks gift cards.
Williams said at the center of every modification in the Hilton Food Court is the desire to make life easier for students.
“We want to be sure that every concept we have has a student demand,” he said.