In previous semesters, Dave’s Down Under, located in the lower level of the Campus Center, has been home to the C-Store, where students can stock up on basic groceries, and The Grille, where students can be served fast food until the wee hours of the morning. This year, however, marks a big change for Dave’s. Rollins Dining Services has introduced a new All-UCan- Eat Menu, open Monday through Friday, that will serve homemade meals for under $10.
Rollins brought this hybrid form of dining to campus after participating in a study that showed them where their services could improve. The three main results of the study showed that students, especially athletes, were oft en running out of money on their meal plans and were therefore not getting the amount of calories they needed.
On the other hand, some students were left with too much money and had no way of using it before the semester was over. Finally, it became clear that the hours of operation for all of the dining locations were not compatible with the schedules that most students keep. Dining Services came up “with a solution … a hybrid All-U-Can-Eat,” said Gerard Short, head of Dining Services.
Some of the other solutions Short and his team came up with were extending the hours at locations like the Marketplace and Dianne’s Café. Before, the Marketplace opened at 7 a.m. and closed at 7:30 p.m.; now it opens at 7:30 a.m. and closes at 8 p.m.
Students who have excess money on their meal plans can transfer the money over to a friend’s account in the spring semester so their meal plan is not wasted.
Of course, all of these changes meant some extra expenses for Dining Services, but Short said not to worry — most of the expenses were covered by the students’ overhead fee for the meal plan. The fee funded some of the new food stations in the Marketplace as well as the money it cost to add the All-U-Can-Eat station and the extended hours. “We have all these locations on campus and we need to support … our Rollins students,” explained Short. “The meal plan is designed to cover all expenses of food services.”
Thus far, the All-U-Can-Eat has been a success. Mary Ross, who manages the new station, has said that the program is going well. “Each day it gets better. The price is really great and people have been coming out of curiosity.” Walz Stinson ’15 was going through the line for the first time and seemed happy about his meal. “This looks delicious to me so far [but] I haven’t tried it yet.”
Short says that once people fi nd out about the All-U-Can- Eat program, he thinks it will become a major success and that it could be broadened in the future. “We just have to go through a semester … hopefully if it is successful, we can expand.”