Times Have Changed


The food court located in the H.L Nowel Union building has been the main attraction for current and future students of Delta State University for years, but it seems as though that might change. The food court includes the popular chicken franchise Chick-fil-a, Burrito Bowl, Burger Studio, Provisions on Demand, also known as P.O.D., and Java City. There has been a recent closing time change for the restaurants located in the Union and the Young Mauldin Cafeteria. Among the restaurants, Burrito Bowl closes the earliest, with the opening time being 10:30 a.m. and the closing time being 5:00 pm. Chick-fil-a times are 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Monday through Thursdays. Burger Studio, like Burrito Bowl, opens at 10:30 a.m. and closes at 8:00 p.m.

“I believe that they changed the times because they aren’t really making money. Flex isn’t really money to them,” Niesha Gordon, a Social Work major voiced. “It’s irresponsible. Some students might have late classes. For me, I work in the gym and I don’t get off until 5 p.m., and when I want to eat Burrito Bowl, I can’t now. I’m forced to eat in the café and the food is not good there.”

Gordon added in relation to prices and getting rid of certain businesses: “If they really want to make more money, they should lower the prices. If they want to close a business early or get rid of a business, it should be Java City.”

“Since the time changes, our shifts have changed and we’re working fewer hours,” Lasondra Mills stated in an interview. “I’ve always worked the morning shift, and now I’m working the evening shift. It’s inconvenient to say the least, and now I have to change my life around to fit this new schedule.”

Many of the workers have voiced the same opinions as Mill. Others are looking for jobs elsewhere, such as Walmart, because they are not receiving enough hours.

Robert Grant, the Food Service Director of Aramark, stated that the reason behind the time change is that they wanted to trim down on the traffic of students coming in and out the Union and Cafeteria. “We’re still getting about the same amount of traffic during normal operating hours at the café. It’s not really affecting much.”

The time changes are not permanent, and the food court will go back to previous hours during the spring semester. Grant Miller, Location Manager, stated, “Especially in retail, the later in the semester it gets, their dollars start rolling out and they start eating in the café. The traffic is down in the Union, so that’s why we started researching all this at the beginning of the semester. When we finally reached the peak where it was hurting us on labor, that’s when we made that adjustment and we’ll readjust when the traffic comes back.”

The main thing Aramark is focusing on is better utilization of their labor and quality of service when it was real slow and when traffic was congested,” during peak times. “We’ve been looking at the trends since toward the end of last semester,” Grant said. “We brought the issue up to Delta State and talked about ways to benefit more at peak service. We also worked with the SGA.”

Grant also stated that Aramark employees hadn’t lost any hours and that they are just focused more during peak times. Also, the café is having more time to prepare meals on time. Grant remarked, “The main thing is that we’ve researched trends and business tips. We also reached out to our clients and the SGA before making the decision.”

For students who have late classes or practices and cannot make it on time to eat at your favorite restaurant, don’t fret. With the beginning of the spring semester, things will go back to normal. Until then, enjoy your choice of meal from the Young Mauldin Cafeteria or wherever you decide to eat.