Students returned to Auburn this spring to find Einstein Bros. Bagels replaced by Chick-N-Grill--the only duplicate restaurant on campus.
Gina Groome, Tiger Dining marketing director, said students were not informed about the impending change because the decision was not reached until after final exams.
Jacie Coressel, sophomore in political science, said she was shocked when she realized the switch had been made without notifying the students.
"I don't feel like my voice was heard in the process," Coressel said. "It was really unexpected. We came back over the break and didn't know where Einstein's had gone. There was really no explanation for it. I think Chick-N-Grill is great, but I think they should have gotten some sort of student input for that."
Groome said the decision was a partnership between Tiger Dining and SGA.
"Toward the end of last semester, we were approached about the idea and we presented it to SGA," Groome said. "They liked it and they approved it, so we went forward."
Einstein's closed at 3 p.m. on weekdays, which Groome said limited the restaurant's ability to meet the lunch and dinner demand.
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Coressel said she would have preferred extended hours, but Einstein's food quality and service were worth the inconvenience.
"Every now and then you crave a bagel mid-afternoon around three and [Einstein's was] closed," Coressel said. "It never became an issue because the service was great and the people always seemed happy to be working there. It was a break from the typical sandwich on sandwich."
Groome said the switch from Einstein Bros. Bagels to Chick-N-Grill was a response to the quad's limited selection.
"We wanted to have a dinner option in the quad," Groome said. "It helps reduce the peak lines in the Student Center. It still provides a breakfast option."
Kirby Turnage, SGA president, said the decision centered around concerns that Einstein's wasn't drawing enough traffic. Chick-N-Grill is trying to expand its influence on campus after being introduced last fall.
"They're more willing to work with the customer," Turnage said. "Einstein's has some national standards about how they do their different chains. Chick-N-Grill is much more flexible since they're a smaller-scale operation."
Turnage said the new location provides Chick-N-Grill with better facilities and students in the quad with more dining choices. In the long term he expects the student center Chick-N-Grill will be replaced.
"It will eventually free up some Student Center space, which is prime real estate in dining culture," Turnage said. "It would be my hope that there would not be two Chick-N-Grills within 100 yards of each other. That was my concern, and I expressed it to them."
Groome said Chick-N-Grill plans to provide breakfast items in addition to the lunch and dinner menu.
"We know that there's a demand for bagel sandwiches, so Chick-N-Grill is already working on those," Groome said. "If students just tell us what they miss the most, Chick-N-Grill is more than willing to help provide any of those items."
Turnage said although students will miss Einstein's, the change will open opportunities for expansion.
"I always enjoyed my dining experience at Einstein's," Turnage said. "I loved the blueberry muffin. It was really good. It wasn't so much a problem with Einstein's as it was there was a greater opportunity with Chick-N-Grill and an expanded menu."
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