A new late-night dining service has been introduced by Chartwells this week in an effort to keep students looking for a snack on-campus later at night.
The new service, which officially began Oct. 27, is called “After Hours at Montgoris” and will be open Sundays – Thursdays from 9 p.m. – 1 a.m. in Montgoris Dining Hall after dinner ends.
Students can pay for the grilled items using their meal points, flex dollars, cash or credit card. Prices range from $1.79 for fries to $6.99 for 12 chicken wings.
Burgers, pizza and chicken tenders are some of the other food items on the menu. Students were pleased to hear of the new service.
“This is really convenient,” junior Bethany Hogan said. “When I study late at night, I get really hungry, so it’s great that I don’t have to travel too far to get something to eat really late.”
Students first pay for the items they want in the C-Store. Once a student purchases food, they are given a receipt, which must then be given to a server in the dining hall in exchange for the late-night snack.
Prior to the new Montgoris program, the Sullivan Café was opened until 1 a.m. on Mondays – Thursdays up until last semester, said Kenneth Waldhof, Executive Director for the Office of Auxiliary Services.
However, he said the café “had little traffic after 6 p.m.” but “continues to do well during daytime hours and serves the community well.”
The Marillac Food Court extended its operation hours to 11 p.m. on Mondays – Thursday at the beginning of this semester and Waldhof said this addition has “offered more variety and is conveniently located for more commuters and others taking classes in Marillac.”
“We believe this Montgoris offering, in addition to the new Marillac program, provides a good variety and is more convenient with it being right here on campus than off-campus orders,” he said.
“Plus, off-campus locations do not accept Storm Card payments and students have to use cash.”
Edward Taraskewich, resident district manager for Chartwells, said 86 people used the new service during a test run last Thursday. During this trial period, he said students were invited to sample food on the menu in an effort to build some anticipation about the new service.
Gina Capetanakis, Chartwells’ Marketing Manager, said students should not dismiss the items on the menu as food that has been recycled from earlier sessions in the dining hall.
“Although the dining is still taking place in Montgoris, the menu and quality of food is different from what students will find during the daytime or evening,” she said.
The marketing manager said one example of a difference is personal pan pizzas, which she said are made tailored to what a student wants as opposed to only being able to choose from pizza already there. Phani Raj Pathaneni, a first year graduate student who also works serving pizza at Montgoris, said he believes the new service will be a great help for students on campus late at night.
“Montgoris usually closes after 8 p.m. and there are a lot of students who can’t make it to get something to eat in time, so I think this is a benefit,” he said.
Pathaneni said he sold “about 20-25 pizzas in one hour,” during last Thursday’s test run.
However, some students feel the new dining service may not be receiving enough advertising.
“I just happened to hear about it today, so I decided to check it out,” said junior Shawn Laurenceau, who attended Monday’s official opening. “But I think a lot of people still don’t know about it yet.”
Chartwells officials said the lack of promotion was deliberate in order to use the first few weeks as a trial-and-error phase.
“We intentionally started softly so we could take our time, work out any kinks or potential problems and so we wouldn’t get too big for ourselves,” Capetanakis said.
“In the coming weeks, there will be more posters promoting this and it will spread among students via word of mouth, so we’re confident it’ll become more popular.”
Waldhof also seemed optimistic that the new service would eventually pick up steam.”We expect it will take some time for it to catch on,” he said.
“But, I expect all resident students will soon be aware of it and will want to stop in to check it out.”