Avesta restaurant in Union struggles to attract patrons

Avesta restaurant in Union struggles to attract patrons

Alejandro Medellin

Avesta restaurant in Union struggles to attract patrons
February 02
18:45 2016

Alejandro Medellin | Staff Writer

@skinny_fats

Newly opened restaurant Avesta is having trouble attracting students because of poor advertising, inconvenient hours of operation and pricing menu options, one official said.

After three weeks of operation, the restaurant has seen a slow rise in attendance. The patrons so far have been attracted mainly through word-of-mouth. Mike Sood, the director of food services for the Union, plans to advertise more in the coming weeks, beginning with a page on the university dining services website. He also said they plan on using social media to get the word out.

Located on the second floor of the University Union, Avesta is an old-school restaurant with an upscale dining experience. Between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., students and staff are welcome to try their menu, which offers entrees from around the world. Avesta was a staple in the old union building, but the new restaurant is much bigger with a contemporary aesthetic that reflects the main building.

Sood said once the Union acquires an alcohol license it would be for the whole building and not just Fuzzy’s Taco Shop. This, Sood said, might attract more students.

“We are exploring all kinds of possibilities, like wine or maybe beer, but everything is up in the air,” said Sood.

Sood said Avesta offers a good deal but for some students those $9 meals could be too much.

“It’s a bit pricier for student consumption, but we are seeing a lot of students,” Sood said.

The price for an entree is $8.95 with either a soup or salad included in the meal. Patrons must also pay tip, but students do not consider the price to be a problem especially compared to other venues at the union.

“I would say it’s affordable but not exactly convenient,”  biochemistry freshman Elicia Sepulveda said, referring to the short hours of operation.

Sepulveda mentioned that the Chick-Fil-A she was currently eating cost her about $8, and that she would rather have a home-cooked-meal experience for the same price at Avesta.

But the problem for Sepulveda, like many other students, is she leads a busy life, and for her it is not easy to visit Avesta with her current schedule.

“I get out of class and go to work,” marketing senior Ogundu Kanu said.

Kanu said the price is affordable for him, but “the hours are not good” for him.

Sood mentioned that he would like to offer students a good meal right here on campus rather than them going off campus, and added Avesta may open for dinner.

Featured Image: A plate of beef bourguignon served at Avesta, the famous French peasant dish is tucked into a bread bowl and served with a soup or salad for $8.95. Alejandro Medellin | Staff Writer

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