Changes Made to Dining on Dahlonega Campus

As University of North Georgia Dahlonega students arrived back on campus for the Spring 2023 semester and went to their regular spots to get food, they noticed some changes. In the Dining Hall, “Chow” students can no longer serve themselves at the following subsections: North Georgia Kitchen, North Georgia Kitchen Vegan and Mongolian. Students had a lot to say on the anonymous social media app Yik Yak, some even agreed to band together to boycott chow until it was back to what they were used to. Another restaurant on campus, Einstein’s Bagel Bros., also altered the way students get their food by switching the majority of their business to mobile orders.

In contrast to comments on Yik Yak, some students have differing views on the topic. Leah Ruffin, a freshman undecided major, says, “I think the changes made to chow were a good improvement and makes me feel if the food I’m eating is safer,” but she says there has been a noticeable line that stretches out the doors during busy hours. “Students not being able to serve themselves has slowed down the efficiency in some form, but on the flip side, I think the benefits, in this case, outweigh extra time added.”

Vianca Murillo, a sophomore Spanish major, agrees that chow cutting down the majority of self-serve areas will create a more sanitary environment. She says, “I had a friend say they saw someone put back a steak after having it on their plate.”  She also adds that she has noticed a significant delay in the time she has to wait in line compared to past semesters, yet thinks this wait is not that big of a deal when you consider the possibility students not being able to grab food themselves may help prevent the spread of sickness around campus.

At the restaurant, Einstein’s Bagel Bros. located in the Hoag building students are now encouraged to order their food and beverages through the “Mobile Order” app. Mobile order is also the only option on some days due to short staffing. Gabrielle Outlaw, who is a supervisor at Einstein’s, thinks the switch to mobile orders has helped push through the heavy traffic that frequents the restaurant during class changes. Outlaw includes that it decreases the volume of people in the Hoag building at once because students can order and wait from their dorms, library, or any other area on campus.

While Outlaw thinks that mobile orders have brought some good, she does acknowledge the issue that comes with it. “I think software could use some improvements, sometimes students are notified their orders are ready when they are not which creates congestion at the counter.” She believes that this way of ordering quickens the customer side of the service by allowing multiple customers to order at once and not have to wait in line. The surge of multiple students ordering at once does create a delay for the workers with minimal time to catch up before they fall too far behind. She believes that staffing is one of the main issues slowing down the business. She says the small number of available staff leads them only to be able to accommodate either the register or mobile orders. Outlaw concludes that “if we can improve our software, speed, and available staff things could stay the same.”