The MUC Starbucks renovations are not the only changes students will see coming to Dining Services: Chick-fil-A and Auntie Anne’s will soon be seeing changes as well.
Dining Services has been preparing changes for a long time, and the Starbucks renovations were the first step, according to Director of Dining Services Dennis Wobbe.
“We had to do renovations, but we held off for a while so we could investigate this master plan for the entire building,” Wobbe said.
Chick-fil-A is expected to become a hybrid model, combining elements of SIUE’s current express version and a full-service operation. The menu will expand to include ice cream and milkshakes, according to Wobbe.
Wobbe also said the renovated Chick-fil-A might offer mobile ordering.
“You’ll place the mobile order, and it’ll have our new expanded menu,” Wobbe said.
“You might also see an increased speed in service due to some of the changes, like adding more grills,” Wobbe said.
The plans for the Auntie Anne’s, however, are more tentative as of right now, but according to Wobbe, are definitely on the way. The uncertainty comes from the cost of construction and other factors like brands that Auntie Anne’s is associated with.
“Auntie Anne’s is a focused brand, which is part of a larger company that has Moe’s, Cinnabon and some others,” Wobbe said.
Some of these brands, however, bring opportunities.
“There were a couple ideas, but one was, maybe with the same amount of labor and space, we could add a Cinnabon, but we’re still looking at those options right now,” Wobbe said.
Another reason for the uncertainties is the issue of SIUE paying for the renovations.
“In purchasing, there’s a lot of rules. It hasn’t gone out to bid yet, and then there’s dollar amounts, and some approval processes, so it’s going to happen, but we’re going to wait until that’s all done,” Wobbe said.
Although the changes are tentative, Wobbe had some blueprints of the possible renovations prepared. Since the final decisions are still being made, these blueprints may somewhat change.
“In due time, we’ll get it all inked,” Wobbe said.
Some students are very excited at the possibilities opened up by these changes. Sophomore mass communications major Jacob Whitener, of Collinsville, Illinois, was very happy to hear about these renovations.
“I would really like those improvements, especially the Cinnabon, for early in the morning,” Whitener said.
“I’m just interested in any changes or new food that the MUC has to offer,” Whitener said.
However, not everyone agrees with Whitener. Sophomore elementary education major Zilvia Montez, of St. Louis, said she would rather see funds being allocated to bring healthier foods to campus.
“I just wish we had a better selection of food that’s healthier,” Montez said.
Although the current additions may not seem healthy, there are plenty more changes on the way. Currently, Wobbe says the earliest date for the changes to Chick-fil-A and Auntie Anne’s is summer of 2021.