Students living in the north side residential colleges have become accustomed to convenient accommodations for late night dining, with both the L3 Grill and Denny’s All Nighter to satisfy nocturnal hunger pangs. South side residents, on the other hand, have not been as lucky in the past, with the only close meal-swipe accepting dining option, Fribley Dining Hall, open only until 9:00 p.m.
However, this year, Fribley has undergone a significant change. In addition to refurbishing its patio, Fribley has extended its operating hours and now provides students with dining options from 9:00 until midnight from Sunday through Thursday, with the exception of holidays such as Labor Day. The change, prompted by requests from the Resident Hall Association Food Committee at the end of last year, hopes to provide a more convenient option for late night eating to the residents of South Side.
“The change was primarily made due to the large number of students living on south side who are still required to be on the meal plan,” explained Beth Nochomovitz, Director of Auxiliary Services, referring to the large number of students in the Class of 2016.
“Because they had options like L3 and Denny’s last year, we hoped to provide them with a late night dining option as well,” she said.
Nochomovitz also mentioned that the change was made to reduce “crunch times,” periods which see a large number of students going out to eat, by providing increased access to the dining halls.
Though the extended hours only began this week, the program has seen a significant number of students utilizing the late night option, with approximately 50 students per night.
Because of the extended hours, Bon Appétit, the dining halls’ management company, has had to hire an additional shift of employees and has had to move a few employees from daytime shifts to nighttime shifts. According to Jim O’Brien, Resident District Manager of Bon Appétit, the additional hours should not impact the cost of the meal plans.
“This is a fun program, it extends our availability and it opens us up to a different segment of the student population,” O’Brien said. “It really should only become a problem if no one uses it.”
The late night dining options are somewhat reduced, though. At the end of the night, Fribley will scale down what stations are open, with only the grill, pizza, fries and a reduced salad bar available. However, based on demand, other stations can be opened or closed if necessary. Bon Appétit is open to full expansion of the dining services, if they hear enough input from the students.
“[The RHA Food Committee] prompted this change and we will continue to listen to them and are always open to feedback from the students,” said Nochomovitz.