On Sept. 9, students were able to access new selections of food on the Midway Court side of the cafeteria.
On the kosher side of the café, next to the Dairy Stop provides a new station called The Curry Kitchen, which sells Indian food and halal meat. Another new selection, The Wicked Spoon/ Starbucks, holds one self-serve frozen yogurt machine and a topping bar with several kosher options and a third Starbucks station on campus. On opening day, samples were provided. No other changes have been planned thus far.
Previously, where The Curry Kitchen now stands, was a place where students could purchase Chinese food and sushi, generally after waiting on a long line. Prior to the Wicked Spoon was Mexican food; a convenience store aimed at students from the Summit, and in 2009 a kosher deli. Both were not bringing enough business to sustain it.
The Curry Kitchen is in partnership with the accompanying restaurant located in Manhattan. The Queens College branch is now the third location. This brings in vegan and vegetarian options. As far as the missing sushi, it is still available in The Wicked Spoon and other areas on campus, just not made to order. Chinese food is still on the other side of the cafeteria.
David Krump, director of dining services, said the idea behind The Wicked Spoon was to become a “destination location,” a place where students would go to pick up one of the specific items and not just browse if they were hungry.
Another meal place was not created because of the options already available on campus and Chartwells avoids offering the same thing every semester. Starbucks was added since it has been the most popular coffee brand on campus.
According to Chartwells supervisor Gloria Calvo, the change was brought about by the students, not because the original options were unsuccessful.
“According to their needs, the students request that. Also, food that can be more healthy to them, like if they want more vegetables. That is my understanding,” Calvo said.
Chartwells provides the food on campus in the Student Union, cafeteria, library, and Science Building. In recent years Chartwells has tried to offer healthier meal options. In this case, the frozen yogurt machine does offer non-fat and low fat options, but offers mainly dry toppings while fruit is scarce.
Calvo also explained that students filled out survey cards of what kind of food they would prefer to have in school. For example, the halal meats sold off campus at the carts surrounding the gates generally cause lines and crowds that file down the block, which may have caused the need for them on campus.
Additionally, frozen yogurt was always in the top five student requests.
Currently a survey is available on the Chartwells QC website. Students can write how often they have gone to these new concessions on campus. The overall consensus so far is 1 to 3 times.
“It was just trying to answer different ethnicities of food. There is an eclectic student population here at Queens College,” Krump said.