[media-credit id=2199 align=”alignright” width=”225″][/media-credit]With the new academic year, Quinnipiac’s food service provider, Chartwells, has gone out of its way to improve the dining experience on the Quinnipiac campuses with free food, pop up events and more.
There have been several new events throughout the dining halls on campus this semester, including $5 Sunday brunches, Legacy events with various themes serving free food and pop-up food stations such as free hot chocolate and doughnuts on the North Haven campus last week, according to Leann Spalding, director of dining services for Chartwells.
Additionally, Chartwells adopted several new concepts such as the Chartwells interns who help the company connect with students, a free meal on student’s birthdays and a quality assurance guarantee that says students can return and exchange their meals if they are not satisfied.
Resident District Manager of Quinnipiac Dining Services Charles Couture has been working with the university for years to improve the ‘dining experience’ for the Quinnipiac community.
“We work together with the university on everything we do, did focus groups and student surveys,” Couture said. “From that we got all the feedback from faculty and students and we came up with a vision plan, which was like a three to five-year plan on what we wanted to do.”
What began with small changes or additions to stations in Café Q on the Mount Carmel Campus, to the addition of a Starbucks and a Sushi and Noodle Bar this year, Couture says the vision plan is on a path of success.
“We’ve been trying to increase student satisfaction, increase the options, decrease the lines, because a lot of students don’t realize that our facility is probably a third of what it needs to be to really do what we do every day,” Couture said.
Dining services serves about 14,000 meals per day across the three campuses and between 8,000 and 9,000 on the Mount Carmel Campus alone, according to Couture.
“Part of the dining experience is finding ways to enhance the program, have some fun, do some giveaways, some pop-ups or free food,” Couture said. “It’s just an added value thing to kind of break up the year… It’s nice to walk into a dining hall and have some free buffalo wings.”
Chartwells will continue to make plans and efforts to improve the dining experience for students in the upcoming years including renovations to the Bobcat Den and continually refreshing the menu items and stations in the cafeterias.
“Everything we do is part of an effort of making it a better place to eat, a better place to go to school,” Couture said. “We’re part of an overall Quinnipiac experience too… it’s everywhere you go.”
Caroline McTague, a junior English major in the MAT program, enjoyed one of Chartwells’ pop-ups last Thursday on the North Haven campus.
[media-credit id=2199 align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]“It was my first class of the day and as everyone walked in it was such a nice surprise right by the door, it was displayed creatively and made my day because I didn’t have anything to eat yet,” McTague said. “They didn’t even advertise for it and it wasn’t even in the cafeteria, it was literally a surprise.”
Nikki Dorah, a sophomore psychology major, has enjoyed the improvements made to Café Q and the new dining options on Mount Carmel Campus.
“I really like the changes that Chartwells has been making; the Starbucks is a nice addition,” Dorah said. “Even though I don’t go to the Starbucks as often, it’s nice to know that if I need it, it’s there. The free pop up samples allow a sort of interactive experience when you are walking into the cafe. What better way to get someone’s attention than with some good food.”