With the new school year comes many new changes to Tiger Dining.
The Student Center’s Chick-fil-A, which has been closed all summer because of renovations, is back in business for the fall.
In addition to the modern decor, a central counter of cash registers will replace the two separate counters that used to be there, and it’s intended to create a more streamlined experience.
“The idea is it should work better,” said Gwen Ward, campus dining specialist. “It should be a lot more effective. Both customers and cashiers will be able to clearly see who’s available or who’s in line.”
Also, the new stanchions that will form the line are permanent and ADA approved, meaning the line will be appropriately situated for students who are in wheelchairs.
There are menu changes at Fresh from the Plains as well. While it has always been a gluten-free spot, the restaurant’s selection will also be free of six other top allergens: peanuts, tree nuts, soy, dairy, eggs and shellfish.
“The food tastes good, so it won’t be like [some people] will only want to go there; their friends will be happy to eat there with them,” Ward said.
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Another change to look forward to this semester are the new food trucks joining favorites from last year. They include Good Karma, serving Indian food; NYC Gyro, serving halal food; and Amsterdam Taco. Crepe Myrtle, University Doughnut and the Chick-fil-A truck will not be returning.
Foy remains unchanged, except for Prevail, which will be replaced by another coffee shop. Additionally, the Tiger Dining office will move from the Student Center to Room 105 in Foy.
The biggest changes on campus have happened at The Village. Phase one of the construction, which will be completed by Aug. 19, includes a new Chick-fil-A, Sambazon and an international station. The international station will have a salad bar, pasta and pizza made with an Italian pizza oven. Toro Sushi and the convenience store will remain in The Village as before.
Construction will continue in the back of The Village in preparation for the second phase, which will open in the spring.
“That’s going to include a Mediterranean selection… a vegetable concept… a bakery,” Ward said.
There are other changes happening around campus, too.
The business department will have a sandwich and salad shop called the Tiger Bread Company, similar to the new Engineer’s Cafe.
Terrel is opening a taco concept place.
The changes, however, don’t stop with new locations or menu changes.
“We have started a new reusable to-go container program, where if you buy a block meal plan, you get a free to-go container of recycled plastic,” Ward said. “You would go in, fill it up, snap it shut, take it with you. Next time you come back, you bring it back — we will wash and sanitize it — and you get a new one. You can either take it to go or you can get a little clip to put on your backpack so we know you’ve already paid for one and can take it whenever you want to.”
Tiger Dining has plans for a new dining hall in the future, which will be between the science buildings and the Student Center.
“[It will] probably will be opening in spring 2021,” Ward said. “It’s going to be huge...They will have two retail places, and then the rest will be an 800-seat dining hall. They’ll have reservable spaces there for you.”
Tiger Dining encourages students to provide feedback about existing restaurants and new additions.
“We need feedback, because that’s how we make things better.”
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