More changes ahead for campus dining

GVL / Emily Frye 
Campus Dinings Ryan Jones

GVL / Emily Frye Campus Dining’s Ryan Jones

Many changes are in the works for Grand Valley State University’s campus dining. Students will continue to have more food options as campus dining expands and renovates its buildings on the Allendale Campus.

One of these changes involves Fuel, a campus restaurant located underneath the Fresh Food Company in the Commons.

Ryan Jones, campus dining senior food service director, said Fuel has seen a 20 percent increase in traffic so far this year.

“We are in preliminary discussions with facilities planning for fall of ’17 expansion to Commons,” Jones said. “We’re still looking at our options, but there will be an expansion to that building.”

He explained that campus dining is planning to push the entire Commons building out to where the current walkway is and add some retail space in the southeast corner. They are also looking to add more seating upstairs in Fresh Food Company.

In addition, campus dining is conducting focus groups to discuss whether it is beneficial to make the whole Commons building all-you-can eat.

“They’re just talks right now,” Jones said. “ We are just trying to figure out what’s best for the student body and what do you guys want to see more of versus what we like building.”

Deb Rambadt, campus dining marketing manager, agreed with Jones that expanding is necessary.

“Students recognize that there’s a need there,” Rambadt said. “The university recognizes that need too.”

Melissa Rentfrow, campus dining social media manager, highlighted another change to the menus on campus: vegetarian and vegan food options. She said the biggest issue is making students aware that they have choices.

“We really need to look at what we offer,” Rentfrow said. “We knew we had options available, but we felt like there wasn’t a lot of awareness surrounding them. So, we really worked to create signage.”

Rentfrow added that they are in the process of compiling these foods into a list that they will put on the campus dining website for students. She said this could help incoming students, especially those with dietary restrictions.

Campus dining also has events and promotions for students. One of these is stir fry Wednesdays at Kleiner Commons, which was created because the Asian Cuisine station is no longer an option at the renovated building. Jones said it is because of this that many students have started eating at the Jump Asian Cuisine station in Fuel. The special night at Kleiner is offered from 4 to 8 p.m., after Fuel closes for the night.

The other event is called Midnight Breakfast, which Rambadt called a “Grand Valley tradition” because it happens every year. In the past, it was held at Fresh. This year, for the first time, it will be at Kleiner from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 8. GVSU President Thomas Haas will be there, Rambadt added.

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