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Chartwells announces new dining services

October 12, 2006

Through the Student Senate, Chartwells wants the campus to know about the new dining services, but senators raised concerns over the costs of meal plans and hours of availability for students with the increase of specialty foods and stores.

“This is all public information, and we want the students to know what is coming,” said Jennifer Conde, director of dining services for Chartwells. “After Thanksgiving break, students will be able to see many samples in a forum as to what each place will look like in terms of logos, food and outfits of employees.”

During the Oct. 10 Senate meeting, Conde and Stacey Shaw, regional marketing director for Chartwells, presented and announced five restaurants to be located in the new Student Center. We Proudly Brew Caribou Coffee,  Mondo Subs, Coyote Jack’s Grill, Zona Mexicana and Momma Leone’s will soon be among the choices for students to eat on campus as soon as the new building is open in January.

“Our goal in the next few days is to give the information to students,” Conde said. “Nothing is secret. If Senate doesn’t talk about it, the information isn’t getting out.”

With a wide variety of new eateries on campus, many senators repeatedly asked about transfer options, hours of operations and any increasing costs to meal plans.

Meal plans will not be affected for the spring semester when the Student Center opens, Conde said.

“It will be something to look at in the near future, like the next two years,” she said.

The use of the services by students will be monitored and evaluated to make a decision to change the plans in any way, Shaw said.

“It’s going to be a total learning curve of new patterns with the new options,” Conde said.

President Joe Eggers said he was wondering about the use of the dairy products produced on campus. He asked if the new services will continue to use the cheeses and ice cream.

“We will continue to use that,” Conde said. “The residential dinning will continue to use the ice cream and expand into the cheese curds some time.”

The coffee shop will be similar to Java Coast, and it will continue to serve Freshens’ smoothies, she said. It will be located on the main level of the building.

“The Caribou Coffee at UW-River Falls is the first in the country to be a part of Chartwells,” Shaw said. “It is going to be a lot like Java Coast, but better; it will have different and better hours.”

The lower level of the new Student Center is completely designated to residential dining, Conde said, where Mondo Subs, Coyote Jack’s Grill and Zona Mexicana will be located.

Mondo Subs is a sandwich shop, which is very similar to Quizno’s, Shaw said. The dining service will offer limited-time offers and marketed specials.

Keeping traditional burger services, Coyote Jack’s Grill will offer upscale burgers of many choices, ranging from plain cheese to any specialty burger a student desires, she said.

Focus groups and surveys were conducted on campus last October through Student Services and Programs to get feedback of students at UW-RF as to what they would like to see for food choice at the new Student Center, Shaw said.

“In the focus groups, a frequently mentioned name was Chipotle,” she said. “It was because of the ability to control what they are eating and being able to see the food right in front of them.”

With a majority of the students wanting a Mexican-style eatery on campus, Zona Mexicana has signature foods, focusing on different regional Latin sauces and ingredients, Shaw said.

For students looking for pizza and pasta options, Momma Leone’s, a New York City brand and restaurant, brings many Italian foods with healthy and nutritious ingredients.

“A signature meal from the restaurant is the pasta pizza,” Shaw said. “It’s sounds unique, but it’s very good; it’s very popular.”

A few senators asked questions about the use of dinner transfers still being available at the new services, and Shaw and Conde both said every new place will offer extended times of availability.

“The biggest changes are going to come in the environment,” Conde said. “The environment will be very different.”