BY EMILY WALLACE
Recent changes in the Hub have many students asking the question, “Why?” The answer is simple: money.
“It was a number game,” head Sodexo manager Ned Price said. “(Common Grounds) was selling less than 50 drinks a day. It made sense to combine the two shops for the business. Those numbers have tripled since the changes, and the Hub didn’t lose any business when it comes to the drink station.”
The Hub drink station now only serves specialty ice cream treats such as swirlies and ants-in-a-snow-storm.
The Hub has rearranged space to add a larger burrito bar.
“We wanted to expand the burrito section because the Chipotle and Qdoba concept is very popular right now,” Hub manager Katie Schuller said. “We wanted to give the students more of a variety. We were very basic before, and now we have a Mexican-style grill.”
Another change made to the Hub was the separation of the sections.
Now the Hub is designed with a food court concept: specific registers for each style of food.
“Just to get the students in and out faster, we added an extra line,” Schuller said.
This is a common theme throughout all the changes to the two eateries.
“We wanted to solve the congestion (problem),” Price said. “We didn’t like having students walk in and see the line and then leave without eating.”
Now with the three separate lines for the deli, burrito and grill, people are more spread out.
“The changes have made working more efficient,” said Hub employee Brittany Elms. “We are just able to serve people faster now.”
Julia VanDyk, also a Hub employee, said: “I think it is easier to make the food and give it to the customers with less confusion now because of the way we have reorganized the system. We are more contained into specific areas.”
The changes have also lead to the temporary loss of the pizza and pasta options.
“Just for the first two weeks, we wanted our staff to be able to adjust to the changes,” Price said.
According to both managers, these options will be back in the near future.
“We will be bringing them back eventually, but it will be made-to-order as opposed to grab-and-go because we were throwing away more pasta and pizza than we were selling,” Schuller said.
The permanent changes made to the Hub are the loss of the drink station, the loss of egg rolls and boneless wings as appetizer options, the change to a new brand of cups and altered grill hours.
“We just were not selling enough a week to keep them on the menu,” Schuller said. “We sold an average of two a week last semester, so it just made sense to cut them from the menu.”
As far as the beloved Pepsi cups go, the answer is, once again, money.
“The Pepsi cups were very expensive; they were 30 cents a cup,” Price said. “Just to do some of the changes we wanted to do, we had to look at other ways to save money. We went from 30-cent cups to 12-cent cups so we wouldn’t have the Pepsi name.”
Lids to fit the new cups have been back-ordered and should arrive within the next couple weeks.
Also, new grill hours are also coming to the Hub.
“We listened to your comments, and we understand that you want the grill open again from 9:30-11:30,” Price said. “So you got your wish.”
However, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. the grill will remain closed for financial reasons.
“Change is sometimes not fun, but in this business, if you don’t change then you fall behind,” Price said. “We will work out all the kinks.”
Students are encouraged to leave comments about their Hub experience; their suggestions will be read and possibly used to implement further changes.