This fall, Emory’s new food service provider, Bon Appétit, introduced dining venues and more fresh, locally sourced ingredients to Emory, but some students lament the increase in prices.
Last year, after committees on both the Atlanta and Oxford campuses spent more than a year sorting through vendors, Emory chose Bon Appétit to replace incumbent Sodexo. Throughout the summer, Senior Director of Dining David Furhman and Bon Appétit planned dining adjustments across Emory’s campus in anticipation of the new school year.
Furhman believes that the dining services are “generally working very well” and is “pleased with the way Bon Appétit has adapted to the needs of [the Emory] community and the culture of [its] campus.”
Among the changes that were instituted at the start of the year are more vegan and global options at Dobbs Market of the Dobbs University Center (DUC) and a wider selection at Eagle Convenience and Subs, including products from the Cox Hall Bridge Farmers Market each week.
“People generally say [the DUC] is better now [due to its inclusion of more] local fruits and vegetables,” College sophomore Asher Ades said.
College freshman Kiraney Zhang agreed, noting that the “fresh vegetables and Italian gelato at the farmers market are great” and that she’s “excited that some of the market’s items are now available [at Eagle Convenience and Subs].”
In Cox Hall, more goods are now cooked on site and made from scratch, such as the pizza dough at Beltline Pizza, soups at ITP (Inside the Perimeter) and baked goods at the Green Bean. There are also more diversified menus at Cox, which now includes grab-and-go express meals as well as ramen noodle bowls, according to Furhman.
“Student response has been overwhelmingly positive,” Furhman wrote in an email to the Wheel. It’s easy to see and taste the improvement in quality, and students have certainly seen and tasted that first hand.”
Bon Appétit added new venues to purchase coffee on campus. The additions include a second Highland Bakery in the newly expanded and renovated Atwood Chemistry Building as well as a Kaldi’s Coffee, which serves only 100 percent fair trade and locally roasted coffee in addition to an array of sandwiches, soups, salads and baked goods.
However, some students have expressed concern about the DUC’s replacement of Dunkin’ Donuts with Kaldi’s.
College senior Natalie Levine, for example, acknowledges that Kaldi’s provides healthier food options but that the prices are much too high for the portion sizes.
An 8-ounce Kaldi’s hot chocolate, for instance, costs $3.05, whereas an 8-ounce Dunkin’ Donuts hot chocolate was priced at $1.92.
Likewise, an average of the prices for hot foods from Kaldi’s is approximately $5.96, which is significantly more expensive than that of Dunkin’ Donuts, which is only about $2.70.
“I think that some people definitely like it, but I’m not a huge fan of it,” College junior Neha Bansal said. “I think that it’s slightly overpriced, and it takes a long time. We [students] need quick and cheap [food] to get to class.”
The Tuesday Cox Hall Bridge Farmers Market will accept Dooley Dollars this year. In anticipation of more frequent usage of Dooley Dollars, Emory now allows students to add Dooley Dollars to their meal plans throughout the school year, given that they add at least $75. This adjustment will broaden the scope of the five percent discount and tax free privileges associated with each Dooley Dollar transaction, except at food trucks and the Farmers Market, according to Furhman.
“It’s really convenient to get everything from the farmers market when you can use Dooley Dollars,” Zhang said.
Furthermore, Bhojanic, which serves Indian tapas, will join the food truck rotation between the Woodruff Physical Education Center, Clairmont Campus and the Freshman Quad from 7 to 11 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday of each week, and Dooley’s Den at the Depot, previously known as Zaya, will feature an updated menu from previous years.
“They have to-go meals [in Dooley’s Den at the Depot], and many other places on campus now, which I really like,” Ades said.
College sophomore Evan Morgenstern believes that overall, students are significantly more satisfied with dining options this year and Emory made the right vendor selection given the higher quality, more locally-sourced food.