The University of Texas at Dallas has expanded its dining capacitiy and added more food service options to feed the increased numbers of students on campus this fall. Changes include adding a hundred seats to the dining hall for a total of 1,245 total seats now for on-campus dining, which is a 49 percent increase since fall 2010. The bulk of the seating is located in the main Dining Hall and the Comet Café and lounge area of the Student Union.
About 100 extra seats have been added to the Dining Hall’s faculty/staff dining area. To further accommodate more students in the Dining Hall, dining staff have added a third soda fountain station and repositioned popular cooking stations to open up traffic flow in the food court.
“We are very excited about the growth of our University, and we will continue to evaluate and improve our services,” says Carrie Chutes, manager of auxiliary services. "Students, staff and faculty are encouraged to bring suggestions to our monthly food committee meetings."
Options outside the main dining hall include the Comet Café where a redesigned checkout area with six registers, including two faster lanes for card purchases, will help speed lines.
Meanwhile, the Pub will have 20 additional seats and more staffers working during the busiest hours while down the hall, the Grab and Go area has added a Freestyle beverage machine with more than a hundred drink options, as well as sandwiches and a variety of salads.
In The Pub, 20 more seats will be added to the dining area. Two registers will be staffed during peak hours, with one dedicated to drink orders. Roped areas will direct diners through the order and pick-up process.
On The Pub’s expanded menu are a variety of burgers, quesadillas, fish and chips and grilled sandwiches. Desserts also are being offered for the first time.
A food truck and a smaller food cart will take meals to outside locations. A limited-item food cart will serve hot dogs in front of the plinth. The menu for the food truck has been expanded to include fish tacos, burritos, beef brisket tacos and chicken sandwiches.
Two new food truck locations provide more options for quick meals.
At lunchtime, a truck will be parked between the Naveen Jindal School of Management and the new Arts and Technology Building on Drive A, and will accept cash and credit cards only.
A late-night location between Residence Halls North and West will be open until midnight and will accept Comet Cards along with cash and credit cards.
The University has also responded to student requests for more vegetarian options and “greener” takeout options. The Pub, for instance, will have a black bean burger, while the food truck menu will include burritos with tofu and chalupas with hummus and vegetables.
And in the Dining Hall, a “to go” program will encourage students to return food cartons for reuse.
“Students requested these changes based on survey results,” says Alison Jenkins, marketing manager for Chartwells Higher Education Dining Services, which operates dining services at the school. "The dining services team at UT Dallas is pleased to provide these enhancements for all students and faculty dining on campus."