Survey says: Campus food menu is made to order
By Lydia P. Robles
GCU News Bureau
Jessica Maichel runs the @GCUDining accounts on Instagram and Twitter, so she knows a thing or two about what Grand Canyon University students like to eat.
“I’m very heavily based in student interaction,” said the marketing supervisor for GCU Dining/Sodexo. “I love being able to collaborate with the students and bring things they can enjoy onto campus.”
Students are regularly surveyed for their feedback about current and possible future dining options on campus. That’s why Panera Bread was added – not surprisingly, it was wildly popular when it opened in early December. It’s also why Nekter Juice Bar is scheduled to debut in January, also in Verde River Apartments, and another GCBC location is scheduled to open soon in nearby Agua Fria Apartments.
In another important campus food development, Harvest Kitchen was remade into Lopes Training Table this fall with this slogan: “Healthy options that fuel the body and mind all day long.” To create the menu, GCU Dining collaborated with the Health and Wellness Center.
Students have another incentive to go there besides healthy eating: After 15 visits, students can redeem their punch card at the Lopes Shop for one free, preselected item. New items are announced each month.
Maybe the biggest challenge for students, though, is deciding where to eat. After all, there are 31 food options, counting Canyon 49 Grill at GCU Hotel and Lope House at GCU Golf Course.
Psychology student Kristine Raygoza relies on an iPhone app to help her navigate the menu.
“My friends and I always crave different things after class, so I use an app that decides where to go for us,” she said. “We have the tendency to get hangry, so it saves us from arguing and breaking up friendships.”
The revolutionary, friendship-saving app: Meal Wheel. It instructs users to input at least two food choices in the food wheel. The wheel spins, randomizing and making the decision for you.
Professional writing major Darian Cruz takes more of a logical approach to this decision.
“Whenever my friends want to eat, we throw out at least four options. If two out of three of us say we want the same place, then we eat there,” she said. “Democracy at its finest.”
Accounting student Eddie Gutierrez can’t help but be a loyal customer to his favorite food spots on campus.
“I definitely spend most of my dining dollars at Qdoba and Taco Bell,” he said. “Most of my tuition money can definitely be found there.”
Other students don’t wait to make lunch plans. For psychology student Alyssa Valenzuela, priorities start in the classroom. She craves a burger and a huge side of fries from Habit Burger during class.
Her reason is simple:
“You know what they say: ‘Fries before guys.’”