The most notable change to the food court this year is the mysterious absence of Taco Bell, which was replaced by a makeshift wall bearing the sign “Salsaritas – Coming Soon.” However, the end of the semester is close, and Salsaritas is still a work in progress.
Students are generally dissatisfied, some nearing desperation.
“The sole reason I came to Miami was because I saw the Taco Bell in the food court during a tour,” Jim Mataway, freshman, said. “Then I came to buy some, and found out it was gone.”
Mataway, who now hitches rides to the Taco Bell on US-1, also said, “I came all the way from Michigan for this Taco Bell. What the hell?”
Blair Scott, sophomore, is also disappointed.
“I was very disappointed in the disappearance of Taco Bell due to the lack of a sufficient explanation, and its very high popularity amongst my circle of friends,” Scott said.
Mel Tenen, Director of Dining and Auxiliary Services, said the decision to replace Taco Bell was mainly a financial one, backed by information from surveys.
“We decided to replace Taco Bell due to declining sales, and survey results show students wanted a more upscale concept,” Tenen said.
Tenen searched for a replacement, and determined that “the new breed of Mexican concept enables consumers to customize their food preference with fresh ingredients, similar to Subway.”
Tenen and Chartwells determined Salsaritas to be the best fit for the University, citing food quality, and rapid company growth.
According to Tenen, Salsaritas has yet to open due to “construction delays due to raw material shortages caused by the hurricanes.”
Salsaritas was scheduled to open on Nov. 1, but this date has been pushed back to Jan. 12. Tenen is confident that students will love Salsaritas, citing an “extensive menu and fresh ingredients,” along with the freedom to customize a meal and an authentic, colorful decor. Construction is well underway, and almost finished.
Students are looking forward to Salsaritas’ grand opening.
Brendan Mackesey, sophomore that while the delay means one less option in the food court, “hopefully it’ll be worth it.”
Scott, while having concerns regarding price and service, concedes he’s “relieved it’s going to be a taco place.”
Mataway, however, remains defiant.
“I hope for something that will compare to Taco Bell, but I’m not expecting anything, as nothing can compare to Taco Bell,” Mataway said.
Jay Rooney can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.