Essie Mae’s is extending its dining and meal equivalency hours to midnight on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, on a trial period for a semester.
Although many students requested longer hours, Gusti Ruhri, Dining Service’s Cash Operations Manager who oversees Essie Mae’s, was initially hesitant. “We have done it in the past, but didn’t have much success. You need a certain crowd,” she said.
However, the snack bar has been incrementally increasing how late it stays open, at the request of many students; the half hour extension implemented last semester was a success, said Ruhri.
“It’s a good initiative because when you study late at night, you can get food to pump your energy,” said Tuan Duang Mai ’11.
Despite the longer hours, sandwiches from the grill are still only available until 9:30 pm. The new salad bar, on the other hand, is open until 10 pm; the deep fryer is on until closing time.
Because Dining Services’s budget is tight, the expansion was facilitated by rearranging the hours of existing workers instead of hiring new staff, which disallowed the possibility of keeping the grill on longer. Yet the deep fryer still offers students access to warm food. “Students want that, something hot they can eat. The grill requires more labor,” said Ruhri.
Healthier options, said Ruhri, include the salad bar, raw vegetables, fruits and yogurt, among other items. She also hopes to add baked vegan taquitos to the regular menu.
“Dining Services is flexible. Students change, and we want to provide the best customer service to students.”