University Dining Addresses Panda Express closure, shortened MarketPlace hours Sunday, Oct 23 2022 

By Tate Luckey

After being shut down for nearly a month, the University of Louisville Dining Services announced they are set to reopen Panda Express before the end of the semester.

What Happened to Panda?

The restaurant recently had to shut down due to issues with the fire suppression system according to Lisa Ennis, the director of Auxiliaries and Asset Management.

It had not been serviced in years and that was not under my watch. These issues could have potentially caused a fire. I made the decision to shut down [Panda] as soon as I was made aware. We will have to order food and the supply chain may be our only obstacle to overcome. I assure you, we have the safety of the campus as our number one priority,” she stated. 

During the time of the shutdown, Nathan’s Taqueria sent their food truck to serve as a fun alternative for students during lunch hours. Their menu included options for street tacos and nachos that students could purchase for flex points, Monday through Thursday.

Still Insufficient

Even with the reopening of Panda Express, this still doesn’t fully solve the student body’s issues with more dining options and later hours. Among the restaurants on the Belknap campus, only Twisted Taco, Wendy’s, Starbucks, and Eiffel Pizza are open past 8. The Health Science Campus has even fewer options, with students only being able to order Chick-fil-A and Starbucks via Grub Hub. For those in 8+ hour clinical, options can get pretty mundane.

“There are some other options nearby like food trucks and Panera, but those are not affiliated with U of L so they don’t take Flex or Swipes. The hours are also fairly limited for each option- Starbucks closes at 2:45, yet my latest class is until 3:50,” HSC senior Kaycie Carpenter said.

Services Vice President Alex Reynolds and other members of the U of L SGA have been pushing for longer restaurant hours, and have made progress in advocating for more local, health-oriented options that will hopefully debut on campus in the future. Superfood smoothie company Lueberry took the place of Cardinal Nutrition in the SRC over the summer, and dining services have been keen on showcasing both the talents of their staff through events like “Battle of the Chefs” and local vendors through “Farm to Table.”

An example of the food offered at the MarketPlace.

The MarketPlace

It was students’ low foot traffic and lack of interest, though, that led to the SAC MarketPlace’s hours being shortened from 8 PM to 5 PM. “We averaged 10 people eating at the MarketPlace after 5 pm. It is not sustainable to keep it open through the evening. Students are eating in other places,” Ennis said. 

Dining services had previously announced on August 8th that the MarketPlace was changing its format from a normal meal swipe exchange per restaurant station to a more “residential, one-swipe-to-go” option, similar to a buffet. Many students on social media were apprehensive about the change, noting that The Greenery, which replaced the popular EverGrains, just didn’t have the same appeal.

Quality speaks more than quantity, in this case. If you have the chance to go during normal, busier hours the variety of food gives you plenty of things to fill up your plate. However, since most of the food tends to sit in those wide chafing dishes, some of the meat and vegetables can get pretty dry if not routinely replaced.

Students care about where their money goes, and so the communication between dining and its vendors has to reflect that. If you’d like to learn more about U of L dining and its services, you can do so here

Wings, cornbread, fried plantains, and a brownie from the MarketPlace.

File Photos // The Louisville Cardinal //

The post University Dining Addresses Panda Express closure, shortened MarketPlace hours appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.

Skip the lunch line with Grubhub Thursday, Mar 5 2020 

By Grace Welsh–

Grubhub offers busy students a quick and easy way to order their food ahead and, as their slogan reads, “skip the line.”

This year, the University of Louisville has partnered with Grubhub to help students order their meals ahead of arrival.

Students simply download the app, log in with their university ID and are able to order and pay with flex points and/or meal swipes so their food can be ready when they arrive.

Grubhub, popularly used as a delivery service, is currently offered on campus at Starbucks at both locations on campus, McAlister’s Deli, Subway, Panda Express, Einstein Bros Bagels, Twisted Taco, Prime Grill, Sandwich Shack and Olilo.

Grubhub is a favorite choice among busy students. Freshman Jayda Richards uses Grubhub roughly once a week to pre-order her favorite meal at Subway.

To her, it’s not only easier, but cuts down time and prevents having to wait in unexpectedly long lines. “They usually do a good job and get the food out early,” she said. “I like to use it before work so I don’t have to worry about being on time.”

Freshman Caleigh Richard-Goos typically uses Grubhub on campus twice a week to order her favorite drink, a coconut milk mocha macchiato, from the Starbucks in the SAC. As a member of the Cardinal row-team, Richards-Goos gets out of practice at 8:30 a.m, and likes to get her coffee as quickly as she can before her 9 a.m. class.

She said that she’s run into problems having to wait a long time to pick up her order at other restaurants. “I love that I can use the app. If I’m in a pinch and running late, I can order it on the way,” she said, “Starbucks in the SAC is the only place I order from regularly.”

However, with sudden influxes of students, it can be difficult to keep track of Grubhub and in-person orders.

Senior Davy Adams, an employee at Starbucks in the library, says that well over 270 Grubhub orders come through their system daily. Adams mentioned that they sometimes run into problems with the application, run out of an item or are hit with a sudden wave of people.

“Sometimes we have to turn it off because we are so busy, but all-in-all, it helps people order ahead so rushes are less. It evenly distributes the traffic,” they said.

Graphic by Shayla Kerr//The Louisville Cardinal

The post Skip the lunch line with Grubhub appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.