Bon Appétit Management Company, the dining provider for Hopkins, has made significant changes to some of the University’s major dining options, specifically the Fresh Food Café (FFC), Nolan’s on 33rd and Charles Street Market (Char Mar) for the new semester.
Char Mar, including the Stone Mill Bakery, has experienced changes both to its stock of goods as well as its hours of operations.
Notable product changes for Char Mar include increased Grab & Go options for students in a hurry, local ice cream from Hershey Creamery, a greater selection of gluten-free items, the return of Frito-Lay products and the addition of Chloe’s frozen treats.
“We constantly add new products and ask that students continue to provide feedback so that we can add to the product selection,” Norman Zwagil, resident district manager of Bon Appétit, wrote in an e-mail to The News-Letter.
With the intention of expanding the Grab & Go options to better accommodate the hectic lives of Hopkins students, Bon Appétit originally chose to close the Deli at 5 p.m. However, the Deli now remains open until 7 p.m. serving custom sandwiches in response to negative student reactions.
Additional options at Char Mar are on the way, according to Mr. Zwagil, including a make-your-own waffle station with a toppings bar, a hot cereal station with toppings, nightly self-served hot entrée options and an infused iced tea and lemonade station.
Some students have not taken much notice to the modifications to Char Mar.
“The only change that I noticed was that row or aisle of more college friendly snacks,” freshman Phoebe Roque said. “I go there once a week, I don’t know.”
Freshman Veronica Reardon, who goes to Char Mar multiple times per week, agreed that she has not noticed many changes.
“I like to use it as a grocery store, I don’t eat there that much,” she said. “I’m a freshman, and like having food around in my room.”
Nearby in Charles Commons, Nolan’s has experienced much more noticeable changes, with Bon Appétit analyzing student habits as well as feedback and requests to inform their process.
“Hopkins Dining and Bon Appètit solicit feedback from multiple sources: The Housing & Dining Advisory Committee, The Resident Advisory Board (RAB), Meetings with Members of SGA, The RA’s, specific dietary needs constituency meetings, the annual dining survey, comment and suggestions cards in each location, emails and general engagement with the students in the dining locations. In addition, the dining staff share the immediate feedback from students who are guests in the dining halls. We also look at statistical data that infers shopping habits, hours that guests eat and overall usage of all parts of the dining program,” Zwagil wrote.
An effort has been made to tailor the experience to student desires by changing the offerings and the layout of Nolan’s.
A “Wings Around the World” station offering sandwiches, wraps, salads and platters was introduced along with the “Blue Jay Special,” a station which will adapt throughout the semester based partly on ideas submitted by students. The “Blue Jay Special” offers various homestyle ‘comfort food’ meals. Furthermore, the Noodles Station will now have traditional pastas twice per week, omelets twice and Asian-style noodles the three remaining days.
“One Bowl,” the popular noodle station in Levering, will now also be available three nights a week at Nolan’s.
The registers have been moved to the front of Nolan’s with the intention of speeding up service by reducing the confusion of where to pay and where to order.
“This change has received mixed reviews and we hope to continue to assess and make changes for the better of the dining program at Nolan’s,” Zwagil wrote. “Just so your readers are aware, you do not have to order a meal when you walk in to Nolan’s. This space is more than a dining room, it is a living room for Charles Commons and offers entertainment and gaming options to all students.”