A U of L dining favorite is being threatened Tuesday, Jan 11 2022 

By Catherine Brown–

In an Instagram post on Jan. 9, U of L Dining announced that they are considering replacing the campus’ McAlister’s restaurant. This decision has prompted an outlash by students against the organization.

McAlister’s has been a beloved staple of U of L dining for many years. Students love the fast-casual atmosphere of the establishment, where they can indulge in a mixture of healthy and starchy, hot food brought right to their table. 

The outlash is comparable to the Spring 2021 response against U of L Dining for taking away Einstein Bros. Bagels. At the time, student response was so strong that U of L Dining brought back Einstein Bros. for the rest of the semester, albeit only through Grubhub orders.

Students rejoiced, and Einstein Bros. enjoyed a semester of long lines with students anticipating ordering their favorite coffee, bagel with schmear, or pastry.

McAlister’s deserves the same love — from the chain’s famous sweet tea to the hot macaroni-and-cheese that always seems to sell out before the lunch rush. McAlister’s offers plenty of hot, fresh-tasting food that invites students to actually sit down and enjoy their lunch.

Jacob Forden, a sophomore mechanical engineering major, said, “I am very sad about McAlisters because I always ate there and the sweet tea was amazing.”

In response to the backlash, U of L Dining commented, “Hello, McAlister’s is closed. We are evaluating options for this space. In the meantime, our students can go to our Instagram story and answer our poll question about what new dining options they would like to see on campus. There will also be a survey later this semester that will be sent to students.”

Forden said that if McAlister’s were replaced, he would like to see it replaced by Penn Station Subs, Mark’s Feed Store, or a similar fast food restaurant.

Other students suggested replacing McAlister’s with Panera, Cane’s, and, again, Mark’s Feed Store.

If McAlister’s has to go, what restaurant would you like to see in its place?

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Thank the dining staff for their work during the pandemic Monday, Mar 8 2021 

By Catherine Brown–

University of Louisville’s dining staff deserve appreciation for the work that they do to feed students, faculty and staff every day. 

On Feb. 17, U of L Dining announced their decision to reduce dining hours across nearly every restaurant on campus. With that decision came the closures of Louie’s Corner, Einstein Bros. Bagels and Chick-fil-A at HSC Commons.

According to U of L Dining, this decision was made regarding lower rates of students on campus due to COVID-19.

Students were not happy with the decision.

Several students replied to the Instagram post with #FreeEinsteinBros and demanded that the university reinstate the chain’s previous operating hours.

Einstein Bros. is a favorite dining option for many students on campus. The chain operates at early hours, which allows students in early morning classes or athletics to grab breakfast before class or practice. Many students depend on Einstein Bros., the Ville Grill, and Chick-fil-A to start their day.

Destiny Smith, a sophomore nursing major, says that Einstein Bros. has been her go-to breakfast spot when she has 8 a.m. classes.

“The staff at Einstein Bros are so nice, genuine, and funny,” said Smith.

U of L partners with Aramark, a corporation that provides food service and facilities. Therefore, U of L food service workers are technically Aramark employees, not U of L employees. But that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve any less appreciation.

Several students commented on the impact that the change had on dining employees.  

“Not only is this screwing over students but think of the employees whose hours have been drastically cut,” freshman Vito Sabino said. “These are not high paying jobs either. Seems like U of L is willing to live with impacting the quality of life for food service workers just to save a buck.”

“Think of the workers who will be laid off or will have their hours cut. How will they provide for their families,” said sophomore Savannah Quach.

The following week, U of L Dining announced that food trucks would be available Tuesday to Thursday for students to enjoy.

“The decision was made this past week to bring these offerings to campus to aid in our ongoing efforts to improve the student, faculty and staff dining experience,” said U of L Director of Communications John Karman.

While the food trucks did receive decent crowds each day, students demanded that U of L bring back the regular dining hours.

Although students had more diverse dining options to choose from during that week, several original dining options were closed or their hours still reduced. 

Yet, how many dining staff struggled with having their hours reduced or had to worry about being scheduled that week?

U of L Dining has since announced that Einstein Bros. Bagels will open again for Grubhub orders. U of L will cover all transaction fees.

Think about how annoying it is to pay thousands of dollars on a meal plan. Then consider how little of that you can even spend. Finally, think about how little of that money the dining staff will actually see. 

Next time you go out to eat on campus, show your appreciation for the dining staff. If you can, stop and talk to them or give them a compliment. You might make someone’s day.

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal 

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