Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Good-Bye Food Trucks (for now)

For the past two years, food trucks have had a huge presence on campus. Rolling up in front of the Financial Services building just in time for lunch, off-campus food that use the meal plan. From options like The Biscuit Box, Gai Box, Arepas and Ezell’s fried chicken truck break up the mundane food options on campus. However, as we say good-bye to Bon Appetit, we will also say bye to the food trucks – at least for now.

Student surveys Bon Appetit have always shown overall satisfaction with Bon Appetit during student surveys but due to an elevated awareness of Seattle University’s dining process, long lines became known as an ongoing issue. Bon Appetit evaluated the ways to fix the operational issues that led to the long lines and concluded that bringing another food truck was the most effective way to solve the issue for now.

“The food trucks that are currently there are there because Bon Appetit unfortunately had some operational issues that led to some very long lines at some of our key venues, and so they were utilizing the food trucks as a way to supplement other services on campus due to their operational issues,” Connie Kanter said, Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President of Finance and Business Affairs at Seattle U.

Seattle U. did not pay any additional costs to bring the food trucks on campus, according to Cassidy Scandola, Director of Procurement at Seattle U.

“The way the other trucks are on campus is Bon App has gone out and contracted with those other companies to bring them on campus because they knew that you know, there were some comments about the truck being the only one there and so they reached out to these other companies to bring them on campus,” Scandola said. “So, it is through Bon App that the other companies are on campus.”

Scandola mentioned in an email statement that in May of 2017, the University started the Request for Proposal (RFP) process to facilitate a holistic review of the foodservice itself. The goal was to improve the dining experience overall for the Seattle U students. Seattle U then chose to end the contract with Bon App early to meet student need, hence the new contract with Chartwells.

Since Bon Appetit will be leaving as Seattle University’s food service provider after 20 years, there is no future need for the food trucks as Chartwells is intended to improve operations. From self-order kiosks, to students voting on menu options every week, to new renovations, there is promise that there will be no reason for the food trucks to remain on campus.

“With our new provider, we have a number of new facility improvements that will be specifically addressing the line issue so we’re not going to be starting with food trucks as you’ve seen this year,” Kanter said. “The new service provider does have their own mobile truck and they will have that available and they’ll reevaluate whether there is a need for any other services after they started the contract.”

For the foreseeable future there is no reason to bring the food trucks on campus. The last date for the food trucks is not known, though People’s Burger which was here this past Friday (June 1), will have their last day this upcoming Friday (Jun 15). People’s Burger is a relatively new truck on campus, having only been here since March. By working with Bon Appetit, they were able to let students pay with the meal plan which was beneficial to them.

“As of right now, we’ve not been told we’re not coming back, and we’re really sad to lose this spot,” said Brian Ludwick, the manager of People’s Burger. “Unfortunately, next Friday is our last chance here. We would love to be invited back, but we’ve been yet to be invited back.”

For many students, visiting the food trucks every week has become a part of their routine.

When told that the food trucks may not be here on campus, many students expressed their disappointment. Waiting for their favorite food truck to show up is something that they look forward to.

“It’d be a bummer,” Gabe Spach, first year finance major, said. “We’re here every Friday, it’s a nice switch up from the same kind of cafeteria food that you get every week. It’s super good.”

Hopefully Chartwells’ options are able to meet student demand and fill the void that the food trucks left behind. Chartwells is set to move- in and implement the changes beginning July first. With taste-testing and voting on options, it seems like a bright but different future in terms of food for students on campus.

Rania may be reached at [email protected]

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