Officials announced earlier this month that they will replace Alvin’s Café with a Chick-fil-A, leaving students with dietary restrictions concerned about what they’ll eat following the change.
Catherine Maninger, chief financial officer, said a marketplace will be next to the Chick-fil-A, but it is unclear what food will be available there.
If there is enough variety provided at the marketplace, students should be able to find things to eat, but, if it is insufficient, students may struggle to eat on campus.
Officials said the renovations will be complete in August 2017. They are meeting this week with Chartwells, the university’s new food service provider, to discuss the changes.
The decision to add a Chick-fil-A followed a student dining survey.
While Chick-fil-A seems like a fresh and different food option for students, in retrospect, it’s only a good dining option if plenty of variety is offered in the marketplace.
Students with peanut allergies are unable to eat any of the fried food from Chick-fil-A, and there are limited options for students who are gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, or vegetarian.
The caf already has a limited variety for these students, but they were able to find food they could eat at Alvin’s. Unless Chartwells offers a wider selection in the caf and the marketplace, these students will have even more restricted options.
Additionally, many students pay close attention to the nutritional content of the foods they eat. Though most people like the taste of Chick-fil-A, the menu is not exactly the pinnacle of health.
When students finish classes or rehearsal after the caf closes, Chick-fil-A and the marketplace may be their only options for food. Some student schedules rarely work with the caf’s hours and a daily diet of Chick-fil-A cannot be healthy or desirable in the long term.
That makes it even more important for students to let officials know what food options they need and for officials to communicate with Chartwells to make sure the marketplace addresses those needs.