In an effort to make dining on campus more appealing to the entire university the food court portion of the cafeteria is currently undergoing changes.
“Through our contractor, which is Sodexho, there will be a Pizza Hut, KFC and Far East Fusion, a concept from Sodexho’s own in house brand,” said Michael Smith FAMU’s director of business and auxiliary services.
“For students who live in dorms, and the ones that hang around campus during the day, these are the types of foods that they are eating,” Smith said.
“Research has shown that having a branding concept that is attractive to resident and non resident students is where our present food service should go.”
According to Smith, the renovations will cost over $100,000, which is being managed through the university’s contract with Sodexho.
“We (SGA) have lobbied to the administration’s auxiliary services and Sodexho to make changes with student dining services to offer options that are more favorable to this year’s increased amount of students,” said SGA president Larry O. Rivers.
Currently KFC and Pizza Hut are the only food chains guaranteed, however there are plans to get other retail brands including local ones. “There are a number of other restaurants that we are also trying to get on campus like Tommy D’s because of its student appeal and healthy alternatives,” Rivers said.
“It will bring more flavor to the campus, which will attract more members of the student body because having these brands is the norm at other colleges,” said Leon Massey, 22, a senior computer information systems student from Apopka.
“If you are a student with the meal plan you will have to use your bonus bucks because the food court will be a retail concept,” Smith said.
Smith said for students who don’t have the bonus bucks as part of their meal plan or have a meal plan at all, they can use cash, debit or credit.
“I will definitely use the new food court because I don’t want to pay $5 for regular cafeteria food,” said Alisha Williams, 19, a chemistry pre-med student from Fort Pierce.
“And it would make it easier for me to get food without having to come back and find parking.”
Smith said the profit the university will receive is still being negotiatied. The previous hours of operation for the food court were 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday. It is closed on the weekends. With the addition of the brand concepts the hours of operation for the food court are tentatively 11 a.m.- 9 p.m. on Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Fridays, currently there are no weekend hours scheduled.
“The food court is a good step for FAMU because we always talk about the bad things they do,” said Tamika Berry, 19, a sophomore criminal justice student from Bowie, Md.
“Finally they are trying to outweigh some of the bad things with something good,”