As classes resumed for the spring semester, students visiting the Brown-Lupton University Union may have noticed some differences in Market Square. The changes include a new set of plates and cutlery, preservative-free baked bread, a fruit stand and a location switch for the sandwich and salad bars.
The changes were both student driven and a part of routine renovations, said Scott Majestic, dining services campus operations director.
“Most ideas we receive are during casual conversation with customers, from the dining committee or a new product or trend we see,” Majestic said.
The old plates were one of the biggest complaints from students, Majestic said.
“We were receiving feedback that the student population would like a flat plate, and we heard them,” he said. “While switching plates, we decided to refresh all the flatware to match.”
The locations of the Oasis salad line and Stacks sandwich line were switched to increase efficiency and respond to students’ requests for a panini press, he said.
“I think the plates are much more aesthetically pleasing,” said first-year student Emily Shands. “The silverware has become more accessible and the sandwich line went faster in the new location.”
Noting choke points as a source for slow line flow in Market Square, Student Government Association Dining Committee chair Ben Taylor said the changes were long overdue.
“My committee and I definitely felt it was time for a makeover to some of the visual aspects of Market Square,” he said. “The changes improved the student experience in subtle but significant ways.”
Sophomore pre-business major Bo Prock said the changes “make the BLUU look cleaner and more professional.”
Majestic also pointed out preservative-free bread options through a new partnership with a Dallas-based bakery, Empire.
“We will be featuring a few of their bread [options] each week, [and] the types will be noted on a small chalkboard at Stacks,” he said.
Taylor said the new changes were not made to bring in more students because Market Square already serves over 25 percent of its designed capacity each day.
“The changes were not geared towards bringing in more people, but improving the experience for the people that do eat in Market Square,” he said. “A lot of these changes were made to ease the flow of traffic and eliminate choke points.”
Both Taylor and Majestic said the SGA Dining Committee and Sodexo will continue to meet to discuss future changes.
“We are constantly evaluating culinary and university trends,” Majestic said. “With the help of the Dining Committee we will continue to look for ways to innovate and change programming in Market Square.”
Majestic said changes have also been made behind the scenes. For example, the Dining Services team has added a customer relations manager to its team.
“This manager is available to meet with students and discuss any concerns they may have,” Majestic said.
For further comments or concerns about dining at TCU, visit: https://tcu.sodexomyway.com/people/feedback.html