Opinion: TCU needs outside food brands like Chick-fil-A on campus

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    Admit it. You can already taste those Chick-fil-A nuggets.

    Unfortunately, you will not be getting them anytime soon. Craig Allen, director of Housing and Residence Life, said TCU has no plans for any new dining locations. TCU also has a food contract with Sodexo, meaning that all the food you are going to find at the Brown-Lupton University Union is going to be Sodexo food.

    And that means dreams of having a Chick-fil-A in Market Square or any outside food brand for that matter, are out your dorm room window.

    But should they be?

    Many TCU students have honest, justifiable reasons why they want off-campus food chains on campus, and it is not because we are all just a bunch of divas who crave waffle fries during finals week.

    TCU students have one main issue with regard to food offered by Sodexo: quality. Do not get me wrong, the food by Sodexo is not all that bad. Sodexo does, or rather can, make good quality food. Many of us love 1873’s hot, crispy curly fries. Some of us crave the stir fry at Market Square. During Mardi Gras, we get crawfish and king cake.

    On other days, well, we get something else. Sometimes it is tough, rubbery broccoli. Sometimes it is brown avocado in the sushi. Sometimes it is a machine blade in the potatoes.

    If “life is like a box of chocolates” and “you never know what you’re going to get,” as Forrest Gump says, then the food at the BLUU is like a box of chocolates.

    “With the inconsistency of the food quality, it gets disappointing,” Yang Cindy Xu, a junior international relations major, said.

    Thus, Sodexo’s unpredictability with regard to food quality is leaving students craving for something different—something like Chick-fil-A, In-N-Out Burger or Pizza Hut.

    TCU does not have to replace Sodexo with outside food brands. Rather, TCU and Sodexo must work to incorporate outside food brands into TCU’s dining services.

    Perhaps “outside food brands” should also not be limited to national fast food chains. TCU should also consider opening its arms to students who desire to run their own food businesses on campus. Imagine the entrepreneurial opportunity and experience these students would receive from operating their own dining business at TCU.

    “Give them a chance. Get a corner and make a contract with them, and see what they come up with,” Xu said. “They might be the ones that know what students want the best.”

    TCU students want both variety and quality in their food. If TCU and Sodexo could work on broadening its horizons, students would be much more satisfied with their dining experience.

    Samantha Calimbahin is a sophomore journalism major from Arlington, Texas.