Within the wide selections of the Caf, 6th Street Grill was remodeled on November 26th into a customer-friendly environment with new features. The total cost for the cooking equipment and kitchen installation was an estimate of $14,000.
6th Street Grill is located on the farthest right end of the Caf. In the past, sandwiches, burgers, and burritos have been served to students on a grill menu. Bon Appetit general manager Steve Rall explained how the corner was rated last year.
According to Rall, the Caf reviews its surveys every year in the fall, and the goal has always been to achieve 80 percent approval. The fall 2017 survey said that the 6th Street Grill had the lowest rate among the stations with a 59 percent rating.
Rall also explained the student comments had motivated a change to the station.
“What the [students] didn’t like about the grill was their presumptions. ‘There’s only vegan and vegetarian over here, but I’m all carnivore, you took something away from me,’” Rall said. “A vegan walks in and they get one or two selections and they become the squeaky wheel. They want this they want that. It’s a balance we are trying to make here.”
Through these feedbacks, the Caf decided to make a change last semester prior to the remodeling. Students could now make personal decisions about what was on their food.
“Before, we made all the decisions for you. People could make special requests, but not all students felt comfortable with that. The idea was to bring all the food out front, it’s called Chipotle-style service,” Rall said. “Students feel more control and empowered on what they want on their food and become more selective. It’s far more pleasurable”
After this change during the start of last semester, positive feedbacks came in, bumping the corner rating up to 81 percent, the highest out of all the stations.
This change also affect the labor for the workers at the station.
“During slow times, things that are self-service help labor. Labor costs just as much as food and I’m trying to see how to do it better for the same with less money,” Rall said.
As many major shifts are in process, Rall intends to expand the food options further in the future as he trains his employees.
FOOD BRINGS COMMUNITY
Rall acknowledges there are certain downfalls of the Caf being the single option for a decent meal on campus.
“I’m sorry to say that it is a forced community at the same time. It forces [students] with meal plans to eat here and drudger, ‘Ugh, I need to go eat in the Caf.’ It’s not that they don’t want to eat here, but they have to eat here,” Rall said. “It’s really hard to break the [image] of what the Caf is for the students.”
While he receives many comments and opinions about the cafeteria, Rall tries to emphasize the positive outcome of having one gathering for food on campus.
“I always [ask] students, ‘How many memories do you have sitting at a table with a friend?’ That’s what it’s all about,” Rall said. “Universities are getting away from that and are going with all-on-card dining such as the Eagles Nest or the Blackstone Cafe. The satisfaction for students are great but community for students disappear. There is a rhyme and reason that Biola chooses to have a single cafeteria.”
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