Dining services prepares for winter quarter overhaul

December 15, 2010

by Zach Beaird, Staff Reporter

Construction is underway for McAlister’s Deli, the newest addition to Tolliver Hall, which will be opening late during the winter quarter. Crystal Berry, marketing coordinator for Aramark, said the deli should be opening at the Tolliver booth across from Java City in February, though no exact date is set. Berry said although the new McAlister’s will not feature the deli’s full menu, it will still feature a variety of its most popular choices of sandwiches, soups, potatoes and sweet tea. 

Laura Campbell, a sophomore kinesiology major, said she is excited to see McAlister’s coming to campus and adding more choices to on-campus dining.

“I think we need more options on campus,” Campbell said. “People who live on campus and have meal plans have limited choices so they end up eating the same thing all of the time.”

Berry also said McAlister’s will also offer healthier choices such as vegetarian meals. Campbell said since she recently changed her major to kinesiology, she likes seeing healthy restaurants like McAlister’s coming to campus. 

“I have to run a mile and a half for one of my classes so I’m trying to eat healthier,” Campbell said. “I think having a healthy option with really good food will make it easier for me.”

Berry said McAlister’s opening is in response to a survey conducted by Aramark in summer 2009, which showed that a deli-style restaurant was one of the top choices for new dining options on campus.

“We worked with students to give them an option that they’re not getting in town,” Berry said. “This is the only place of its kind in all of Ruston.” 

Because this will be the only McAlister’s in Ruston, Berry said she hopes to see students who live off campus enjoy the deli, too.

Brandon Brown, a sophomore biology major, said he plans to eat at McAlister’s once it opens on campus even though he commutes to school.

“I usually don’t eat on campus, but I’ll definitely eat at McAlister’s,” Brown said. “It’s convenient, and I feel like I’m getting my money’s worth for my meal as opposed to other places.”

Along with the opening of McAlister’s, there are also plans for further changes in campus dining.

“We know McAlister’s could hurt Montague’s Deli sales,” Berry said. “But we’re now looking to change the deli into another eating option.”

She also said Burger King is in the works for remodeling and will soon be another on-campus eating option, Burger Studio. The new eatery will feature kiosks where students can customize their burger with more than 30 different toppings on a digital screen instead of with a person. 

“With Burger Studio, students will be able to artistically build their burger, hit submit and have it made fresh for them,” Berry said.

Campbell said she feels these additional plans will further improve the quality and variety of campus dining.

“Montague’s is good, but McAlister’s has more variety,” Campbell said. “These other changes allow more opportunity to add better selection and variety of what to eat.”

E-mail comments to zcb001@latech.edu.