Chartwells, the university’s food service provider, has impressed some students with its food options, but officials have yet to open the Chick-fil-A Express students were promised.
Chartwells replaced Sodexo as the university’s food service provider this academic year. They planned to replace Alvin’s Cafe with a Chick-fil-A Express and a market, while keeping the name “Alvin’s.” This originally was scheduled to be finished by the start of school, but was delayed.
Chartwells dining programs “bring students together and serve as centers of academic life on the campuses we serve,” according to its website, chartwellshighered.com. Their website also says the company sources seasonally and locally and offers healthy, natural, nutrient-rich items.
Kalen Castor, cell and molecular biology sophomore, said she likes the new food provider and enjoys eating in the caf after soccer practice.
Carlos Sanchez, English junior, said he’s pleased with quality of the new food options.
“I think their food is fresher than Sodexo’s, and I’m glad that we got to keep the same staff,” he said. “The food that comes out of what used to be ‘Classics’ is really well seasoned without being overbearing.”
Kelly Pan, nursing sophomore, said she did not enjoy the available food options when Sodexo was the provider, but appreciates the fresher and more diverse food options.
“I would marry that salad bar,” Pan said. “I love having the ability to build my own salad how I want it.”
Chick-fil-A Express, a limited menu restaurant, was set to open in August along with a market area. Issues with code compliance pushed construction back for the Market and Chick-fil-A.
Lori Walker, director of auxiliary services, wrote in an email sent to students during the summer that the Chick-fil-A would open in October due to construction delays.
“I don’t know if that’s still obtainable because of some issues we’ve had with permitting and the city of Oklahoma City,” she said Monday.
Chick-fil-A will open this fall, though, Walker said.
The issue was resolved and construction will resume once the permit is approved, Walker said.
There is a temporary Market that offers snacks, groceries and Starbucks drinks.
Chartwells officials said they have worked hard to retain many of the employees from Sodexo that wanted to stay at OCU, and they are excited to be on campus.
“Everybody has been welcoming and really made us feel like part of the family, which is one of the wonderful things about the school,” Catering Director Emily Anderson said. “They’ve been receptive to the food and seem to really enjoy it.”