Chartwells’ renovations impress UM students

The verdict is in: Chartwells outdid themselves with the renovations to the Hecht/Stanford cafeteria, bringing positive feedback from students and administrators. That is, except for the increased traffic, the issue at the center of student complaints about the renovated facility.
Phase one of this $3 million project, completed this summer, increased the seating capacity from 180 to 630.
According to administration, an estimated 60 percent of the students with meal plans ate at the Hecht/Stanford cafeteria last year.
“We tried to incorporate a retail restaurant look which would afford privacy and a better all-around feeling,” Mel Tenen, director of auxiliary services, said. “We worked closely with student council and a committee made up of students and faculty to get the input necessary to have the renovations reflect what students want.”
The whole interior was gutted and redone with new flooring, including tile and carpet.
“We see ourselves being the leaders in this new style of residential dining,” Tenen said. “Students want to have more of a casual yet commercial feeling in their dining halls.”
Many students say they are really excited about the changes. Some say it makes the food taste better.
“It’s fantabulous because last year it was really ghetto,” Alex Ortiz, junior, said. “I would walk to the other cafeteria, but now the Hecht/Stanford cafeteria is like eating in an actual restaurant.”
“We went from trash to class,” Marc O’Connor, junior, said.
Chartwells administration is pleased with the feedback they have received.
“Of the 75 accounts we have at different Universities, this dining hall has the nicest facility,” Fred Heaviside, vice president for Chartwells, said.
However, some students have already begun to complain about long lines and wait times.
“It’s pretty and appealing, but the lines are worse because the new arrangement inside the serving area is more cluttered and causes confusion,” Nicole Brin, senior, said.
“The traffic is terrible since they changed the setup – they don’t have enough people working at the stations, but the surroundings are cleaner and prettier,” Krystle Canaii, senior, said.
Chartwells administration attributes this added traffic to the increased popularity of the facility.
According to Tenen, renovations to the dining halls on campus are conducted every seven to 10 years, in agreement with what the students want.
Renovations for the Mahoney/Pearson cafeteria are scheduled for Summer 2008. For more information about Chartwells services or dining options, contact 8-2715.