Student voice impacts vendor selection
Published: Thursday, August 30, 2012
Updated: Thursday, August 30, 2012 01:08
Dining Services is listening to the student voices for the new food vendor selections in the Union.
Freshens, a smoothie chain, has been added to the ranks of UConn cuisine at the suggestions of students through Dining Services. UCSubs, a UConn original sandwich station, is a temporary vendor which will be replaced by a different shop once Dining Services surveys students on what type of store students want in the location.
“Freshens came out of requests from students,” said Dining Services Director Dennis Pierce.
Dining services consulted the Undergraduate Student Government and the Student Policy Counsel responsible for the Student Union in their search for a new addition to the Union food selection, according to Pierce. Taking into account what students had requested, Dinning Services began comparing national chains used by other colleges. They wanted a store whose business model was compatible with meal plan points and who offered healthy, natural options.
“I’m really excited to go to Freshens,” Jasmine Lui, a 3rd semester finance major said.
Freshens offers a range of all natural smoothies each with one free “booster”, such as MET-Rx® Protein™, which provides 15 percent of the recommended amount of daily protein, and Focus™, which offers an energy and concentration boost, according to the Freshens menu. As part of the Union Street Market, points are accepted at the Union Freshens.
“I’ve been to the Freshens,” Aaron Csehau, a 1st semester nursing major said. “It was a really good smoothie. Definitely worth it.”
UCSubs is different from Freshens in that it is run by Dining Services, is not part of the Union Street Market and does not accept points. UCSubs offers students with a choice of sandwiches sporting college-themed names, such as Pop Quiz and Resume Builder.
“I thought it was a clever Subway-themed thing going on,” Rachelle Jean-Paul, a 7th semester molecular cell biology major, said. “It was nice it was open after the marketplace closed.”
UCSubs is a self-bound temporary store open only until a more permanent outside vendor can be found to fill the space. Because it is located beside Panda Express and Wendy’s, restaurants that do not accept points, Dining Services felt it would be unwise to have a store, even if temporary, that accepted points in that location.
A survey will be conducted to determine what type of stores students would like in that location. A “request for proposal” will be issued after the completion of the survey and companies will bid on the space.