Energy Kitchen, a healthy fast food chain, opened a station in the D’Angelo Center food court last week, received to mixed reviews from students.
Described on franchise’s twitter as, “The Home of Healthy Burgers and Wraps!” Energy Kitchen will provide an option for students seeking a nutritious lunch or dinner.
The restuarant is owned by University alumni Mike Repole, the founder of Glacuea – the parent company of Vitamin Water. This is Energy Kitchen’s first venture with a University and part of the company’s planned expansion.
It is located in the spot formerly occupied by Nathan’s, which has moved to St. Vincent’s café.
Energy Kitchen opened on Jan. 20, serving lunch. However, students reported that service seemed to be poor, with the restaurant running out of food sporadically, as well as taking a decent amount of time serving those with orders already filled.
“How long could it possibly take for an order of fries to be filled, baked or not?” asked Steven Reyes. “This is outrageous.” Reyes said he spent more than 15 minutes waiting for his lunch.
Some students had other ideas on the matter, considering the new establishment as well as the dining changes in general. Ashley Evans, a freshman, expressed her displeasure with the new food option. “I don’t know what St. John’s is trying to do with their meals, if they’re trying to make it healthier,” Evans said. “I’m very dissatisfied with all the meals here.”
Evans’ said she does not believe the University consults students before making dining changes. “If you want to make changes to the meal plan fine, just ask the students, they are the ones paying for the meals,” she said. “It’s their meal plan so why are you making changes without consulting the students.”
The University does, however, take students’ dining wants into consideration. In an article on the St. John’s Web Digest about the restuarant, Brij Anand, vice president of Facilities Services, noted the University surveyed students.
“We heard our students,” Anand said in the article. “Survey results showed that students wanted more options in our campus dining venues, and Energy Kitchen is a good fit.”
Another student, Lexi Foote, expressed a similar sentiment however mentioning specific changes to what is offered, “Taco Bell removed their most popular item (Crunchwrap Supreme), simply so they could make money off of it, and it goes to show where the school stands when it tries to profit financially from students.”
Transfer student from the Staten Island Campus, Ambrose Nwachie was impressed with the offering, at least in comparison with the dining at his former campus, “the variety of food is nice,” Mr Nwachie continued “I can actually choose different places to eat.”