Chik-fil-A opens behind schedule, above expectations

Brianna Sheen

Students wait in line at Chick-fil-A Express in the Clark Student Center Food Court on Aug. 28. Photo by Yolanda Torres.
Students wait in line at Chick-fil-A Express in the Clark Student Center Food Court on Aug. 28. Photo by Yolanda Torres.

One of many changes to dining services, Chick-fil-A Expressofficially opened in the Clark Student Center food court on Aug. 27.

“I will eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and every snack in between,” said Austin Snyder, marketing sophomore.

Some students, like Chyenne Lozowski, nursing freshman, prefer the new Chick-fil-A Express over the newly improved dining hall.

“Definitely going to prefer eating it over the cafe, but I won’t be getting it everyday because the freshman 15 will become a reality,” Lozowski said.

Due to previous problems with the Point of Sale (POS) system, the company that controls MSU’s student IDs is working to make sure students can do a meal exchange using their ID and meal plan at Chick-fil-A Express, according to Matt Park, associate vice president of student affairs and enrollment management and dean of students.

Park said the meal exchange system allows students to use a meal from their meal plan to get a sandwich or nuggets with fries and a drink. Park added that the meal exchange system also works at the other retail options.

Park said any student with a resident meal plan who used flex dollars instead of a meal deduction while the POS system wasn’t working properly can contact the Residence Life office so the flex dollars can be credited back to their account and a meal can be deducted instead.

The target opening day for the Chick-fil-A Express was Aug. 24, the first day of classes, according to Park. Park said the opening was delayed because of construction and that the opening date wasn’t MSU’s decision to make.

“When you work with the national brands, the national brands have the final say as to when you can start operating so Chick-fil-A’s  corporate representatives weren’t comfortable opening the first day of school because of a few construction items,” Park said.

Although Park said MSU has not yet received the financial statement and summary of the project cost, he did get exciting news about Chick-fil-A’s opening day success.

“The Chick-fil-A manager told me that during one hour they had more than $2000 in sales,” Park said.

Chick-fil-A Express is part of the first phase of changes coming to dining services, but more improvements and renovations are slated through next summer.

“In terms of retail locations, the Grill Nations will start serving breakfast very soon,” Park said. “The Starbucks On the Go needs to have the appropriate finishes to give it the look and feel of a Starbucks but then they’ll add the grab and go and convenience items in there,”

Park said the Einstein Brothers Bagel Co. in Dillard should be opening in October and soon the wellness center will offer grab and go options as well. The dining hall, which recently started operating under a new food service provider, will also receive further updates.

“The big projects are the current Mesquite Dining Hall,” Park said. “That will undergo a complete renovation next summer and then a secondary dining facility will be in the current location occupied by the Arrowhead Lounge and Shawnee Theatre,”

Park said the secondary location will be opening as the Mesquite Dining Hall closes. Finally, Park said students in the new residence hall can expect grab and go and convenience retail options in the public spaces.

Additional reporting by Avery Whaite