FIU dining to undergo major “refresh”

By: Joshua Ceballos/News Director


FIU dining is receiving a major overhaul in the coming years, as new food vendor Chartwells plans to revamp meal plans, facelift existing restaurants, and bring more outdoor activity.

Meal plans will be receiving a major change in the transition to Chartwells. The vendor will be introducing more affordable and more flexible meal plan options starting in fall of 2019 according to Aime Martinez, associate vice president of business and finance at FIU.

“Today, the lowest amount you can pay to buy into a mandatory meal plan is $1,949. With the new dining model, entry price will be $1,200 so our students will be able to save a significant amount of money,” she said.

Along with other meal plan options, Chartwells and the University are changing how meal plans work for housing students. Rather than meal plans being mandatory for certain buildings like Panther Hall or Lakeview, meal plans are only required for first-year resident freshmen. This is in response to feedback from housing students, according to Martinez.

As part of the Chartwells’ new 10 year contract, they also plan on responding to feedback from housing students on frequented restaurants such as the Fresh Food Company.

Fresh is the buffet area in the Graham Center, and it will be receiving a change of name,  options and quality.

Martinez told Student Media that Shop FIU and dining services have received feedback that students have given about the quality of Fresh, and Chartwells plans to revamp it for fall of 2018.

“Chartwells is very big on quality and variety and ensuring inclusive dining for students with allergies and religious restrictions,” said Martinez. “Chartwells was given all of the surveys and they’ve listened by shortening menu cycles and switching up the options more often.”

Other existing restaurants on MMC will be getting updated, as Chartwells plans on renovating the Starbucks cafe in the Green Library, and the Chili’s in GC will be completely changed.

“Chili’s need’s a refresh, and the vendor [Chartwells] came up with some ideas: American Taproom, Lime Fresh and Burger 21,” said Martinez. “The idea is still for this to be the pub and the place to be on campus but refreshed.”

The students will decide on what restaurant will replace Chili’s by participating in surveys on FIU social media, the Shop FIU website and on the FIU Mobile app.

To adhere to its commitment of inclusivity, Chartwells will be including a digital allergen guide in an app it will be utilizing called “Boost.” The allergen guide will show students which restaurants and food options would best fit their dietary needs.

The Boost app will also allow students to order food in advance to be picked up or delivered, much like the current app used on campus, Tapingo. Tapingo will continue to be used for now, according to Martinez, but will be phased out by fall of 2019.

This is the same story for much of the Chartwells changes promised in the release by external relations, as most of the transitions will occur after the summer of 2019 according to Martinez. Because their contract lasts for 10 years, the company has time to map out its plans to change FIU’s dining experience.

BBC restaurants like Moes and Subway will remain for this academic year, but will be changed to Chartwells’ proprietary brands, like Egg Shoppe and Wolfe Street Subs, in the following year. Burger 305 will be replacing Grille Works.

Plans for what the tiny house restaurant structures will look like on campus.

As for what else will be coming this year, Martinez said Chartwells is looking to bring “tiny house” pop-up restaurants across both MMC and BBC. These small installations will be placed in highly trafficked outdoor areas to service students who spend their time walking outdoors from class to class. BBC will also be getting a Chick-Fil-A food truck.

Another outdoor option will be refreshment carts planned to be placed in areas such as the entrance to campus just off of South West 109th Avenue, to help cater to students coming from 109 Towers and 4th Street Commons, off-campus student housing buildings.

The refreshment carts will sell small snacks and drinks so students living in off-campus buildings can have quick food on their way to campus. These are planned to arrive soon, according to Martinez.

Refreshment cart and outdoor eating areas under Chartwells vision



Images courtesy of Media Relations

Be the first to comment on "FIU dining to undergo major “refresh”"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.