North Texas Daily

Retail dining leaving Union

Retail dining leaving Union

June 18
15:34 2013

Melissa Wylie/Contributing Writer

With the University Union renovations approaching, UNT Dining Services is preparing to relocate the Union’s food court and restaurants in August.

Food vendors will be moved to an outdoor food court between Sage Hall and the International Students Building until the Union’s scheduled re-opening in 2015.

Students will have the same food and beverage options at the new location, including products from Chick-fil-a and the Corner Store, said Kim Schroeder, director of Retail Dining Services.

“We’re trying to incorporate everything into this one unit so students aren’t missing any elements,” Schroeder said.

Student employees, who make up 85 percent of the Dining Services staff, will not lose their jobs because of the relocation, Schroeder said.

In addition to the outdoor food court, new seating will be available at Sage Hall and a new coffee shop serving Caribou Coffee will open in the General Academic Building, said Ken Botts, special projects director with Dining Services.

Caribou Coffee is one of the many new brands that will be on campus when retail-dining returns to the Union, Botts said.

“There will be double the variety we already have,” Botts said.
Existing retailers will remain in the center of campus, neighboring the sandwich stand Khush Roti, until the new spaces are finished. Brandi Chank, who works at Khush Roti, said the relocation would benefit the food stand.

“I think we’ll get more business,” Chank said. “People will actually see us when they come out here to get food.”

Mechanical engineering senior Andrew Pickett works in the Campus Chat food court. He said students need to be made aware of the move and the new location in order to avoid frustration.

“If there are enough signs pointing in the right direction, then it should be fine,” Pickett said.

Administration is developing plans for communicating the changes, including targeting commuter students who may not know about the food selection on campus, Botts said.

The goal is to show students that they can eat well without leaving campus and losing time driving and parking, Botts said.

The retail dining staff is currently in training to be ready for the switch in August, Schroeder said.

“Change is a challenge,” Schroeder said. “If it is well-planned change, then it usually goes well.”

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