Dining hall and food court get major upgrade

The newly renovated Food Court.
Photo Submitted by Gabrielle Bolden

Walking across Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University’s campus, things look a little different. The dining hall, known to most as the “top caf’,” and the food court, better known as the “bottom caf’,” have gone through extensive renovations.

These renovations have been in the making for months and students can now enjoy their meals in a more contemporary space.

Metz General Manager, Zubair Shahid, said that the dining hall has been extended, up and running since last fall, adding 125 seats so that students can have more seating space.

“To accommodate the students during busy peak periods, which are during lunch on fried chicken Wednesdays and high peek dinner times, often students were waiting for a seat. The addition of the new seating area called the green room, it provides new seating, televisions back there for students to stay current on events, and a serene area for them to look outside,” said Shahid.

Christian Wise, a fourth-year biological systems engineering major, thinks that the renovations of the dining hall has created a progressive change on campus as he describes how the renovations help with the display of the campus.

“It makes it look better, it makes it look more modern, as in comparison to most of the brick buildings around here, the architecture is just different than anything else that it used to be and it’s just something where if this is how this one place is going to look, that means everything else is starting to come up and get to that point as well,” said Wise.

The response to the renovations has been overwhelming as Shahid explains that every student has been positive about the upgrade to both the dining hall and the food court.

“Students have been very excited, they feel like we have heard them,” she said. “Each year we survey the students about our quality, food service or just the feel, students said that they felt like we needed an update, they love the new seating and the lines have been a little bit shorter now especially with Tropical Smoothie, it has more space and blenders.”  

Gabrielle Holland, a fourth-year business administration major, thinks that adding more seating in the dining hall is strategic so that there will not be overcrowding and allows the incoming classes to have a new atmosphere. As for what the cafe can bring toward the future, she said, “I think there can be more food restaurants in the future. I think they can also have a better system of lining students up from orders to non-orders because it can get full in certain areas.”