Dining Services has delivered some impressive changes this year, most notably a new station in Douglass Dining Center and a revamped Hillside Caf with a more intuitive setup and a new panini option. The panini station has drawn more business than Hillside is accustomed to the caf has served 1,570 more patrons so far this year than it did last year.

However, this success is double-edged the lines and wait for food have likewise grown longer as the popularity of paninis, Hillside’s replacement for pizza, omelets and quesadillas, has skyrocketed. In an effort to tackle this issue, Dining should revert back to the Panera Bread concept that Hillside is supposedly based on, intermixing food that takes longer to prep with quick, made-to-order options.

While some may prefer a return of quesadillas and omelets, this option could be unfeasible for space reasons. If that is the case, there is still reason to add new options to Hillside that would adhere to the confines of limited space. For example, cold made-to-order deli sandwiches, similar to what is available at Douglass and the typical bakery/caf, would only add a few ingredients to the panini station and no doubt would take less time to prepare. By adding quicker options, Dining would speed up the lines and cut down on waiting time.

Another way to lessen the confusion would be to add a display combined with a ticket system to identify whose order is ready, similar to deli counters. Shouted names are often lost in Hillside’s noisy environment, and students lose their orders in the chaos.

One option that still needs to be included in some shape or form is a gluten-free choice. While Dining has accessed different alternatives to provide a late-night option for students with a gluten allergy, it has yet to provide students with a solution. In addition to diverting traffic to faster options, Dining needs to make sure they incorporate this concern in future changes continuing without a late-night gluten-free option is unacceptable.

Dining has made minor adjustments to improve Hillside since its makeover, such as adding a standardized order sheet to increase efficiency. However, after weeks of showing little improvement, a new approach is needed.


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