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New Saturday service at Kerr Cafeteria highlights changes to UNT Dining this fall

New Saturday service at Kerr Cafeteria highlights changes to UNT Dining this fall

September 14
11:30 2017

Starting this fall, four of UNT’s cafeterias will be extending their hours, with Kerr offering a Saturday service for students with Eagle Resident meal plans. Champs, Mean Greens and West will all also be open an hour later than previous semesters.

Peter Balabuch, director of resident dining for UNT cafeterias, said the evening and Saturday changes were made in response to student feedback that showed a want for different time options.

“Students basically told us they want dining hall service on Saturdays and for later hours,” Balabuch said.

In order to make these changes work without upping the price of the meal-plans, Champs, Mean Greens and West will be closed in the late-morning and early-afternoon.

“The way we did this without increasing the size of the meal plan was to close during the hours with the fewest customers,” Balabuch said. “Let’s be open when the students want us open and close the halls during the quieter hours.”

Balabuch said the major change is the Saturday service offered at Kerr for those with Eagle Resident meal plans.

Teresa Olivarez, the Kerr Cafeteria manager, said employees seem to hold positive opinions towards the changes.

“The people that work the weekends normally have a hectic schedule during the week,” Olivarez said. “They are able to get some hours in on the weekends, so it helps.”

Balabuch said every summer, UNT Dining Services looks at each dining hall in order to find aspects to change so they help increase their value to students. This done through input from chefs with UNT and the Food Advisory Committee, a student-group who holds monthly meeting regarding dining at UNT.

“We have a team of chefs, our executive chef, our director and I that meets with the Food Advisory Committee,” Balabuch said. “We get feedback from students, and then discuss what are plausible things that we can do.”

It is through these efforts that UNT’s devotion to made-from-scratch dining came into being. For the past eight years, UNT has avoided processed foods, providing a more worthwhile product to the customers and students, according to Balabuch.

“Most food service operations of our size rely heavily on processed foods,” Balabuch said. “We feel that using whole foods and whole ingredients brings more value the customers and students.”

With regards to these changes, students like sophomore chemistry major Teran Nickells approve.

“For everyone with meal plans, that Saturday option is a big plus,” Nickells said. “I would have loved to have that option in the past. Also, the later hours are a super useful for those with evening classes.”

Featured Image: Kerr Cafeteria, the largest dining hall on UNT’s campus, features a timeline of historical events relating to the city of Denton and its campus. File

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Joshua Cassidy

Joshua Cassidy

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