by Billy Clouse
Over the summer and during the first few weeks of the school year, SUU Dining Services made changes to the way it operates in an attempt to become more connected with the campus community. The four main changes are below.
“Chartwells” renamed to “SUU Dining Services”
Although SUU still has a contract with Chartwells, the organization has rebranded itself as “SUU Dining Services.” Natasha Green, Marketing Manager, said the name change doesn’t affect how the organization conducts itself, but rather changes how it appears.
“We’re kind of like batman,” she said. “To the school, we’ll be known as SUU Dining Services, kind of like how Batman is to Gotham City, but on the basic level, we’re still Chartwells like Bruce Wayne to Alfred and his friends.”
SUU isn’t the only university to rebrand its Chartwells service, and Green said it helps the organization feel like a part of campus instead of a separate provider.
“We really want to become one with the school,” she said. “Some of us are alumni, some of us have lived in southern Utah our whole lives. We have a lot of pride in the school and we want to be part of the school, so that was the big push for the name change.”
Fat Zeus received a permanent location
Another major change was swapping T-Bird Grill for Fat Zeus. The restaurant, which originally started as a food cart, was supposed to replace Crisp, but Anthony Lazenby, the Director of Dining for SUU Dining Services, said things didn’t go as planned.
“Unfortunately, due to lack of power for the large, necessary equipment, a hood was out of the question,” Lazenby said in a press release. “We weren’t going to say ‘Oh bye, see you later!’ to Fat Zeus, so we did some finagling.”
Green said that T-Bird Grill was most popular with its breakfast menu, so the SUU Dining Team decided to keep those items and have Fat Zeus come in during the afternoon.
James Duffy, owner of Fat Zeus, said he always wanted to have a physical location, so when SUU Dining Services began looking for food vendors to bring to campus last year, he jumped at the opportunity.
“My wife is an SUU (alumna), and we’re friends with a lot of professors and staff who have frequented our food truck,” Duffy said in a press release. “It was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up.”
Fat Zeus doesn’t accept meal plans, and neither will any new vendors who come to campus. The location is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.
“Crisp” was renamed to “Sono”
The corner location has been through a number of changes. The previous Director of the organization had the idea for Crisp, which offered soups, salads and paninis. At a focus group, Green discovered that only the paninis were popular, which led them to become part of Thunderpops.
After this, the menu was changed to Mexican food because students requested something non-American. Green said the location was a hit, but the name didn’t fit anymore. Thus, “Sono” was created.
The menu will stay essentially the same, but Sono will add more options for meat and toppings, as well as three salsas made in-house.
SUU Dining Services is in the process of finding a vendor to share the location with Sono beginning in the spring. They are also considering replacing Thunderpops and adding a vendor in Thunderbird Circle.
A student-friendly pick-up menu was introduced
For the first time, SUU Dining Services put together a student and club pick-up menu called “The Gathering.” It includes breakfast, party tray, salad, entree and dessert options.
“You break it down and it’s pretty much $2 per person,” Green said. “That’s unheard of, and that’s really what students want: cheap catering options so they can feed their whole club and it won’t drain their budget. So far, we’ve had great success with the student-friendly menu.”
An organization can feed 20 people for under $30 with the following options:
Other meal choices are available in the menu, and Green said that SUU Dining Services can still do custom options, upon request, for smaller budgets.
To get your copy of the student menu, click here.