Changes to dining on campus can be frustrating

Students are now expected to use tablets to place food orders. Photo credit: Alea Mexile

With the start of the new school year, students have returned to campus with intrigued minds and bodies. What better way to fuel them then than with dining options on campus?

However, the eateries on campus have shifted from traditional practices to updated ones due to last year’s outbreak of COVID-19.

The dining services now offer more virtual options to maintain social distancing practices and safety on campus. Within these efforts, new technology has been added  with tablets that use the tap payment feature or ordering through the takeout service Grubhub.

This change has students, faculty and employees finding ways to adapt to the new campus environment.

Tiffany Barnes, supervisor of Starbucks, explained the benefits she believes has impacted Starbucks’ business and productivity.

“I think this it’s a good layout,” Barnes said. “It helps us be safer in reference to COVID because they [customers] can ring themselves up. We’re running four ways instead of two and they don’t have to come in and wait; they can order ahead — which helps.”

From an employee aspect, working for dining areas on campus has started to become increasingly difficult.

A student employee at Starbucks, Adahlia Thomas, said the new changes within the dining areas and the way students can order has become “a bit much.”

“The tablets are not always working,” Thomas said. “We always suggest that people use the Grubhub app and that’s kind of been slowing us down a little bit.”

As we enter the first few weeks back on campus some students have encountered issues with the different adjustments set in place to remain COVID friendly.

Pre-vet student Darius Kemp shared his frustrations with ordering through the new services and the limited food options that FAMU has to offer.

“I believe that FAMU’s new dining services are terrible to what it was before,” Kemp said. “We used to have all these options and now we’re down to Chick-fil-a, Poblano’s, and the dining halls and that is just unacceptable. I ordered Chick-fil-a the other day and I was sitting here for about 40 minutes.”

Although some are divided on how the new way of dining will benefit the campus for the rest of the semester, the university is working on projects such as renovating the residence dining hall otherwise known as The Cafe and recommending students visit The Hub, which opened this summer.

For more information and updates regarding dining on campus, FAMU wants you to  visit