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Bite into updated dining halls

The+central+hallway+of+Roess+Dining+Hall.
Darcy Sluder
The central hallway of Roess Dining Hall.

While the All You Care to Eat meal plan system is here to stay, App State’s Campus Dining is changing things up in the form of renovations, increased costs and new dining options. 

Executive Director of Campus Dining, Elizabeth Riede, said in an email the changes made for the upcoming year are “designed to improve the functionality, efficiency, and overall student experience as part of the All Access dining format.” 

Riede said renovations will include a remodel of Rivers Street Cafe in the upstairs section of Roess Dining Hall, and an expansion in the seating areas of Trivette Dining Hall. 

“Rivers Street Cafe has been redesigned to promote speed of service, ease of service, and action stations (meaning that the food will be prepared in front of you),” Riede said in an email. 

Meal plan fees have increased by 5% due to significant cost increases, Riede said. However, the increase in cost is “lower than food inflation rates.” 

Money from Campus Dining reserves was used to fund the renovations and updates in the dining halls, Riede said. 

Some updates to the menu and signage are designed to help diners with allergies or special diets. 

“Rivers Street will be much easier to navigate, and allergen information will be easier to access via digital signage and an updated menu website,” Riede said. 

Anna Oakes, the news and media relations director for University Communications, said the redesign of Rivers Street Cafe will also change the staffing models. 

Certain stations/areas of service need more labor, and some need less,” Oakes wrote in an email. “Staffing will adapt as stations and menus change with the seasons and special events.”

As the semester begins, Oakes wrote that Campus Dining will primarily be looking to fill part-time student positions, as most full-time positions are unavailable. 

Alex Pitcher, an App State graduate and employee of Campus Dining for over two years, said he supports the implementation of a reusable takeaway system and it is a “big milestone for App State, especially since we’ve been expanding the dining halls.” 

The new system would give All Access diners the option to check out a reusable container to take their meal to-go, Riede said. 

“You can track your sustainability contribution and see the waste you have personally diverted and the water you have saved by choosing a reusable take-out container,” Riede said. 

There will be several tried and tested favorites returning to the menu, such as the brick oven pizza, Riede said. But, many areas of the menu have been reimagined, such as the salad bar, deli station and global cuisine. 

“We have also redesigned our menu, and it will include a primo pasta station, smoked barbeque, and a rotating menu of globally inspired cuisines,” Riede said, referring to changes made in food options at Park Place at Trivette Dining Hall. 

Also returning will be the “Lite Bites station,” Riede said. Food offered at this station is “geared toward accommodating the top nine allergies.”

Tre Sweigart has been working for Campus Dining for around six years and said he has seen lots of changes happening throughout the summer. 

Sweigart said he thinks business in the lower part of Roess Dining Hall may slow slightly with the reopening of the All You Care to Eat Rivers Street Cafe.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that students can use the reusable container system for left over food. This has been corrected in the story. 

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About the Contributors
Siri Patterson, News Editor
Siri Patterson (she/her/hers) is a junior journalism major with a minor in political science. This is her second year writing for The Appalachian.
Darcy Sluder, Photojournalist
Darcy Sluder (he/him) is a freshman Digital Marketing major from Lexington, SC. This is his first year with The Appalachian.
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