Bowl for the soul

Jennie Torres

[media-credit id=2200 align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]Through the power of student choice, Quinnipiac Dining Experience delivered on adding a new food concept that markets healthier and more customizable meals. This concept is called Bowl Life and is now located in Cafe Q on the Mount Carmel Campus.

Quinnipiac Dining Marketing Manager Morgan Watson said that there was a student choice survey announced last semester that allowed the student body to vote for the food concept they would most like to see replace the Latin food station, SONO.

The other options available on the survey included the choice to keep SONO in Cafe Q along with the choice to vote for one of these food concepts: twisted mac, smoked and masala.

Bowl Life won by a landslide, Watson said.

The data for the survey reveals that Bowl Life has 41.34 percent  of the votes, 21.51 percent  was to keep SONO and the remaining 37.15 percent was divided into the three other concepts.

“The students still love SONO, but we felt there was a need to provide a new option in Cafe Q that would bring some excitement to our food program at the midpoint of the school year,” Watson said. “SONO was the only concept that is not a core station. Therefore that allows us the flexibility to change the station menu.”

Although SONO has been removed from Cafe Q, it is not gone from campus for good, as it has since been relocated to the Bobcat Den. Furthermore, there has also been an update to Au Bon Pain Express in the Communications & Engineering building as well, where it has extended its hours and will now close at 4 p.m.

Relocating SONO to the Bobcat Den was very helpful, according to Watson, since the Starbucks/smoothie station there was having a declining guest count due to popularity of Create Smoothies in Cafe Q and the licensed Starbucks upstairs in the Carl Hansen Student Center piazza.

“That change in guest count provided the perfect opportunity to relocate SONO to the Bobcat Den,” Watson said. “Also, the students were looking for more late night menus options and SONO was a natural fit.”

Bowl Life officially opened on Jan. 21 and Watson says that the station has already received a lot of positive feedback.

“We informally asked students why they like Bowl Life this week. The most popular response was the healthful menu. [Students] love having the additional healthy options that Bowl Life has to offer including quinoa, fresh vegetables, grains, grilled chicken, etc.,” Watson said. “The Bowl Life menu compliments the G8 station perfectly, allowing students with food allergies another option of allergen-free menu items. This station is also vegan and vegetarian-friendly.”

However, there are still a few students who are displeased with the station, including senior health science studies major, Lauren Letterman, who said that Bowl Life’s concept is similar to the salad bar.

[media-credit id=2257 align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]“I only don’t like it because it’s literally the same as the salad bar that’s already there, and now we have to go to the [Bobcat Den] if you want [SONO],” Letterman said. “I had a friend that tried it and she said it was really good, but there’s just stuff that they could have just switched out and put in the salad bar because it’s the same idea, except for rice and grains that they added. They could have just added that to the salad bar.”

On top of this, Letterman said she was disappointed that SONO was removed from Cafe Q. Letterman said that SONO’s new location could be a hindrance for students like her considering that she lives on York Hill and is an upperclassman.

“If you’re a freshman or a sophomore, I guess it’s okay it’s there. But [for me] it’s just out of the way. I never go down that way,” Letterman said.

On the other hand, junior marketing major Megan Dyson said that she sees the benefits of having Bowl Life included in Cafe Q, especially when it comes to students who are unable to eat certain types of food.

“I know one of my [friends], she can’t eat gluten or dairy, so her being able to create something for herself is good for her,” Dyson said. “I like the options that they do have, but I kind of wish that there was a little bit more voice that SONO was moved. Maybe a flyer or something, because I had no idea.”

Letterman was also frustrated about the lack of communication to the students about the changes.

“One of my underclassmen friends said that it was in the [Bobcat Den], so if I hadn’t heard that I would have no idea,” Letterman said.

Sophomore computer science and game design major Dan Greenburg said that although he enjoyed having SONO at Cafe Q, he prefers Bowl Life more with its variety of healthy food options.

“I personally have to eat healthy as I have high cholesterol and they offer a lot of really good selections in that regard,” Greenberg said. “Mushrooms are what I get most of the time. I also like the shrimp that they have there.”

Considering that there may be even more additional food spots on campus in the future, Greenberg suggested one popular food chain that could benefit the university.

“I’d like a Dunkin’ Donuts here. We have a Starbucks, but Dunkin’ Donuts would be cool because I have a gift card.” Greenberg said.

Watson said that students should be expecting another update to come to campus later on in the semester, which is that the Mondo station at the Bobcat Den will be replaced with Realwich.

“This is a part of Quinnipiac Dining’s sustainability initiative as well as expanding deli offerings in the Bobcat Den,” Watson said. “The menu includes signature sandwiches as well as the option to customize your sandwich. Applegate meats are natural and organic. Applegate’s meat contains no antibiotics, no GMO ingredients and are humanely raised. Applegate is dedicated to more sustainable and regenerative agriculture and business practices.”