Dining Services has unveiled a slew of changes to its offerings this year, both welcome and dubious. The inclusion of microwaves at Pura Vida, the added option of “Grab-and-Go” meals at the Meliora, and extended hours at Starbucks are all improvements that will provide students with more options and greater convenience. Some of these changes, however, have come at quite the expense.
Take, for instance, The Mel, formerly UR’s only sit-down eatery, which has been scuttled in favor of the Mel Express. Its once extensive menu and restaurant-style service have been seriously diminished, the entire experience cheapened for the sake of convenience. “Grab-and-Go” meals and a sit-down experience are not mutually exclusive and should be offered together. Some things are worth the wait.
Or consider Hillside Market, which has eliminated hot food altogether. While pre-packaged penne alfredo was not necessarily the most popular commodity, their absence is still sorely missed.
“Whenever you make changes, it is important to watch and listen to customer reaction and make adjustments,” Schauf said. “We spent a lot of time working through these changes, but there are always things that you can do better. We learn by putting things into action.”
While we respect Dining Services for its commitment to fresh, novel ideas as well as its consideration of student feedback, too much change can be unwanted, overwhelming, and ultimately, hard to swallow.