Meal plan to be used outside of caf

Biolans with a 10 meal plan will participate in a meal test designed to de-congest the Caf.

Sarah Seman, Writer

Freshman Forrest McBride said he eats backwards –– first the ice cream and then the meal.

Laughing, he paused from a game of chess to explain that it is his way of avoiding the lines in the cafeteria. The administration has acknowledged the inconvenience of the crowded Caf and is taking measures to cut the queues.

New eating area and meal equivalency to help Caf traffic

Plans are underway for a new eating area that will draw students in, said Ken Bascom, senior director of facilities planning and construction. A meal equivalency program will also be explored to test its absorption of Caf traffic.

10 meal students begin test after break

Starting May 2, students with the 10 meal plan will be able to use a meal swipe in Eagle’s Nest, Common Grounds or The Talon. At each eating venue, the Caf will supply a freshly made, ready-to-go meal that will be available between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. The meal will likely be something that is not being served in the Caf that day and a menu revealing each day’s meal will be available on Biola’s Bon Appetit Twitter account.

Steve Rall, general manager of Bon Appétit, said the test run will represent almost half of the students who dine in the Caf because it will limit its availability to students with the 10 meal plan, nearly 1,000 students. This will allow Bon Appetit to be sure that it can meet the demands of the additional work within its current facilities and with its current staff size.

Auxiliary Services works with Bon Appetit

Don Simms, senior director of Auxiliary Services, and Carolyn White, auxiliary operations manager, proposed the meal equivalency system to Bon Appetit. The possibility to create this option became viable last year with the advancements in Blackboard, the system which tracks the information on a student’s ID card.

Senior Hannah Neven, a shift manager in Common Grounds said she likes the general idea but wished that the replacement swipe could be used for a dollar amount.

“I don’t know how much I would like the pre-made meals,” she said.

Main concern is convenience factor and student reactions

Rall affirmed that they had looked at creating a dollar amount but said, “It would be too popular right now for the testing; we wanted to look at the convenience factor.”

For now, Rall said they want to explore how students will view the change: Is it a rip-off? Or is it a valuable choice to have?

Sophomore Christine Choy said she thinks the new choice is a great option. Choy said that the Caf has been so busy at times that she has had to sit on the floor to eat.

“I always go at odd hours now,” Choy said.

Talbot building to include another dining area

With the future completion of the second Talbot building, yet another food area will be available to help clear the congestion of the Caf.

Bascom said the new dining area, which is a little larger than The Talon, will be marketed towards Talbot students by being on their turf, being time efficient and trying to accommodate student’s needs during their night and Saturday classes. While graduate students are targeted, the new facility will not be theirs’ exclusively.

“Anytime we build a new food venue we need to maximize it,” Bascom said, explaining that the venue will likely attract both graduate and undergraduate students.

Leaning over a map of the architectural plans for the second Talbot building, Bascom revealed a strip between Calvary Chapel and the future Talbot structure that they plan to make a pedestrian mall.

Food incorporates community

Bascom said they have known from the on-start that they wanted a food element on the walk area to create all the ambiance that goes with food.

The type of food that will be served is still undecided. However, both Bascom and Rall said reaching out to preferences of the Asian community seems likely.

“The original plan was they were looking for an Asian theme, a kind of Wok,” Rall said.

While uncertainties still lie in this area, Bascom said that the new venue will definitely have the mood of a sidewalk café.

He expects that the new facility, cozied up on the edge of the busy walkway, will eventually become a major magnet for students.

“Food just creates community life,” Bascom said.

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