Chartwells Dining Services Increases Dining Options

Published: January 13, 2016 | Author: Natasha Green | Read Time: 3 minutes

T-Bird Foodies RejoiceWhile some SUU campus departments slow down during winter break, Chartwells Dining Services sped up. Between catering holiday parties and running Chick-fil-A, Chartwells made big changes to four of their dining locations to please students, faculty, and staff in the new year.

Perhaps the biggest change for Chartwells was the opening of Crisp. Crisp, located next to Papa John’s, replaces Yummy’s Sushi in an effort to offer more variety and healthy choices to the students. “Students asked for Chick-fil-A, and we were able to make that happen,” says director of dining Jory Corsi. “So when students and staff started asking for a healthier food option, we created Crisp.”

Crisp was an internal Chartwells concept that Corsi and his team were able to manipulate to serve fresh soups, gourmet salads, and delicious grilled paninis. “Not all of the salads, soups, and paninis have meat or allergens,” says Amber Mitchell, a Crisp employee. “It’s not only a vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free food option, but an overall healthier option for everyone to enjoy.” Crisp features 5 gourmet salads, 4 paninis, and 3 different soups that revolve every couple of days. Naked drinks, fountain beverages, housemade dessert bars, and kettle chips can be purchased as sides.

The popular T-Bird Grill was given a menu revamp during the winter break after Chick-fil-A took over sole rights on selling chicken. “The (T-Bird) Grill couldn’t sell chicken strips and spicy chicken sandwiches with a popular competitor next door,” says Jared Dunn, manager of Chick-fil-A. “That knocked off two of their best sellers; changing the menu was a must.” Overall appearance of T-Bird Grill changed as well to look up-to-date next to Chick-fil-A and Papa John’s, with 2 new LCD TV’s added for digital menus.

T-Bird Grill’s new menu still features classic burgers and fries, but reintroduced wraps, made the popular “Superbird Sandwich” a menu staple, and introduced “Thor’s Roundup Burger,” a western burger with a hamburger patty, crispy onion rings, sharp cheddar cheese, barbecue sauce, and bacon. A BLT sandwich and the “Thunderdog” were also welcomed newcomers on the menu.

After months of drawing up and finalizing plans, construction on Chartwells new Outtakes location finally began a few days into the winter break. Outtakes was moved to the corner next to Thunderbird Circle Dining Hall just before fall 2015 semester started because their old location was turned into Chick-fil-A. “It’s been difficult to operate out of a small nook in the corner because we had to condense what we normally sell,” says Outtakes supervisor Sallie Richey. “Students have been very patient with us as we run around in such a tight space to get what they want.”  The new Outtakes, located in the Sharwan Smith Student Center Rotunda, is set to open in late January. “We’ll run some fun re-grand opening specials and have giveaways,” says Natasha Green, Chartwells marketing manager. “Everyone is excited for the new location.”

Besides making changes in the retail locations, Chartwells worked with facilities management to update the flooring in the Thunderbird Circle Dining Hall. “Carpet was too hard to keep clean for us and the student custodians. Food would get smashed into the carpet, drinks would spill and leave stains, and tables and chairs were catching on fraying strings,” says Maria Carmel, dining hall supervisor. “Students were complaining that the dining hall didn’t look clean. We had to fix that.” Dark colored laminate flooring replaced the disfigured carpet, in a two week process that facilities employees worked hard on. “The new floor makes everything look ‘put together’ in the dining hall,” says sophomore student Chris Judd.

Just three days into the spring semester, and Chartwells employees are already hearing great reviews about Crisp, the new T-Bird Grill menu, the laminate flooring, and excitement is building about the new Outtakes. “We’re excited about new opportunities that our changes will bring this semester,” says assistant director of dining Joshua Hart. “We appreciate receiving feedback so that we know how to keep SUU students, faculty, and staff happy.”  

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