UNA aims to make lines shorter

Students wait in line at Chick-fil-A in the Commons. To clear up the lines, UNA plans to install kiosks which students can use to order their food.

UNA officials made the decision to switch food providers during Spring 2016. While the change from Sodexo to Chartwells brought new food, it did not get rid of the long lines.

Students who go to Chick-fil-A or Burger 256 during lunch should expect to wait in line for five to 10 minutes.

“I (normally don’t eat) at Burger 256 because every day I’ve come in the lines are out the door,” said junior Chris Spangler. “With Chick-fil-A, I normally don’t go unless it’s an odd hour when no one’s getting food. I’ve mainly had to survive on Starbucks because the line is usually shorter.”

Students will have more dining options to choose from soon.

Moe’s and Panda Express will open during the second half of fall semester in October, said Director of UNA Dining Susan Breer in an email.

UNA Dining also plans to add kiosks at Chick-fil-A, which operate the same as the register, to thin out the lines, said Assistant Vice President for Business Services Cindy Conlon.

“We will add two kiosks next to where Frostbite used to be,” she said. “Students can go there and put in their order. This will hopefully cut down the number of students in one area so there are no more long lines.”

The kiosks will come online at the end of September, Breer said.

“The kiosks have been programmed and built and just need to be tested,” she said. “We feel it is important to get the current system running smoothly before adding additional equipment.”

Spangler said he has doubts about the plan because he does not know if Chick-fil-A needs the extra kiosks.

This decision may look good, but it could have negative changes, said senior Gabby Fuqua.

“I’ve worked fast food before, and I feel like that’s going to be crazy hectic for the workers,” she said. “I know as students, we need our food when we need it, but the workers are going to have a really stressful time with the additional orders.”

One of the major changes coming to the Mane Market is its expansion, Conlon said.

“There will be more options available,” she said. “We will have an allergen room that will be over where the couches are now (behind the register). This section is for students who have strong allergies to certain foods. They will be sectioned off and not have to worry about a meal containing something they’re allergic to.”

Spangler said this opens more food opportunities for students.

“My girlfriend is a celiac, so she’s allergic to gluten,” he said. “So, that will be nice to have that option for students who have allergies.”

Conlon said the new convenience store, Create, will appear in food truck form at random days. Create offers wraps, salads, pizza and smoothies.

“Living in the music department like we do and also being a vegan, it’s hard getting food,” Fuqua said. “We only have certain amount of times to get food, so to have a food truck would help a lot.”

Spangler said Chartwells is better than Sodexo because it has healthier choices.

“Before, it was a lot of fried foods, but they’ve gone to trying to provide healthier options,” he said. “I know at the SRC they used to have World of Wings, which was a lot of fried foods and high calories.”

Fuqua said she is excited for the new features.

“I can’t wait for Moe’s and Panda Express to be available,” she said. “The other changes they are bringing sound interesting. I just might not be here to make good use of them because I’m graduating.”