'One Plate, Two Plate' Coming to Student Union for Fall Semester
One Plate, Two Plate–a healthy fast food restaurant operated by UConn Dining Services–will replace Wendy’s in the Student Union in time for the fall 2014 semester.
When Wendy’s announced that they would be shutting their UConn location down during the spring semester Dining Services took the opportunity to create a new dining concept.
“We pitched the idea of having a healthy concept,” C. Dennis Pierce the executive director of dining services said. “I like getting on the ground first and this may be the first of its kind.”
One Plate, Two Plate will serve a variety of salads, wraps, burgers and desserts made with all natural ingredients many of which, like the cheddar cheese, will come from local farms.
“Personally, I like the idea of a new dining option in the student union. I spend a lot of time there during the semester, so I’d appreciate a wider variety of choices,” Jordan D’Angelo, a 3rd semester nursing major, said.
The One Plate, Two Plate menu has been a culinary adventure for the dining services staff. The menu includes choices like the Harvest Chop Salad - Tuscan blend greens (baby arugula / baby kale), roasted butternut squash, Macintosh apples, red grapes, toasted walnuts, Beltane Farms local goat cheese and choice of organic dressing – and the Quinoa Beet Wrap - roasted beets, roasted red pepper hummus, Tuscan blend (baby kale-baby arugula) and quinoa wrapped in a sundried tomato wrap.
In addition to working to make the options as vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free friendly as possible, Pierce and the other members of dining services did consider that One Plate, Two Plate would be replacing Wendy's and would need to keep some fast food options.
“We will have a burger, but it is a clean burger,” Pierce said. The beef will come from Pineland Farms in Maine and will contain no growth hormones or antibiotics. “We will also have a hand cut French fry but the potato will be cut right on sight.”
Dining Services got more from Wendy’s than just the idea for a burger, however, they inherited all of Wendy’s equipment. Therefore a big renovation wasn’t necessary which allowed for the rapid addition of One Plate, Two Plate into the Student Union.
Although operated by Dining Services, the new option will not accept points or flex passes.
“In all fairness to Subway and Panda Express we could not do points,” Pierce said. “It will accept cash and husky bucks.”
Some students, although interested in eating healthy, will likely not be dining at One Plate, Two Plate for this reason.
“While it seems like Dining Services is replacing a cash only place with a cash only place, I still don’t think I’d be too inclined to go there because I find using points so much easier,” Hamsa Ganapathi, a 3rd semester chemistry major, said.
Other students who frequented Wendy’s and other fast food around campus may be less inclined to go to One Plate, Two Plate because of the prices.
“All natural can sometimes mean more expensive. That can be very worrisome for college students,” Liz Fietchter a 3rd semester animal science major said. “They may just wind up ditching the all-natural place to go get a $5 foot long.”
Pierce, however, does not foresee this as a potential problem for One Plate, Two Plate which has a two year contract with the Student Union.
“I think this will be too popular,” Pierce said. “But we can always redesign based on request as time goes on.”
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