The University Grill fails to meet potential to serve students
I could really go for some warm food right now.
As I write this, I’m sitting at my desk in the IUSB Preface office, working on homework. It’s 9:30 in the morning. Campus is beginning to wake up a little, and I don’t have class for another two hours. An early lunch would fit right into my busy schedule, which is non-stop in the afternoons.
The Courtside has some breakfast items, but I really want a lunch. A hot, warm lunch, not little snacks. I have dance class today, and I’ve learned it’s best not to go on an empty stomach.
The University Grill has several options I like, such as Bosco Sticks, pizza, Asian foods, build-your-own salads, burgers, and much more. I wanted to eat, so I quickly Googled their hours. 11 am to 2 pm Monday through Thursday.
What kind of hours are those? Not only is that an hour and a half away for me, but I’m in class almost that entire time. It’s great they’re open during the busiest time of the day, but if you happen to have class at that time, you’re out of luck.
The Northside Café has a few options, like soup, salad and sandwiches, but that can grow old. Besides, they have the same inconvenient hours as the Grill.
The hours are poor for not only my schedule, but for others. What about students who have afternoon or night classes? It’s unlikely that a food venue would be very busy at night, but I’m sure at least a handful of students wouldn’t mind grabbing something to eat while at IUSB after 3 pm besides a vending machine or a pretzel from the Courtside Café.
Director of Dining Services Ziggy Pairitz took the time to explain to me why the hours are so limited.
“The University sets all the hours,” said Pairitz. “I’m simply here with a third party company. [Dining Services hours of operation] is out of my control.”
We discussed why the university has such limited hours at the Grill in particular.
“We tried to expand into breakfast a few years ago, but the university took a hit and lost a ton of money,” Pairitz explained.
As for expanding into hours, Pairitz explained there was simply not enough demand for Friday service, as classes on Fridays are few and far between.
“I could see there being more of a demand in the night hours, but again, that’s out of my control.”
The hours for the Grill should be extended. I understand the hours may be slower than a busy noon rush. But the Grill should not be a for-profit restaurant. I was under the impression that it existed to serve students. The Grill sells food to students twelve hours a week. There are 168 hours in a week. Obviously, the Grill is far from reaching its potential. I don’t feel that the university should expand to such drastic hours that they might lose money, but certainly there is progress to be made.
It’s great that the Grill has been recently renovated and expanded. But unless hours are extended so I can actually enjoy their offerings, it’s a waste of my tuition money.
IUSB will be deciding within the next couple of weeks if they will continue their contract with Sodexo, the contractor that Pairitz works for. Various companies will be submitting proposals for the dining services contract by March 29. There is always the possibility of a shake-up within dining services. Pairitz himself is only the interim director.
Pairitz explained that the soonest any major changes could take place is in the fall. This would be a perfect opportunity for dining services to branch out some of their offerings, especially their hours of operation.
Please, IUSB, expand the hours for the Grill!