FACE Holds Open Meeting, Discusses Food Venues

The Food Advisory Committee Emory (FACE) held an open meeting regarding the planned assessments of food venues across campus yesterday in the Cox Hall Ballroom.

FACE is a student organization that holds monthly open meetings to connect the student body to the Emory Dining staff by receiving feedback from students and relaying information from Emory Dining.

This meeting marks the first steps of the plan by Division of Campus Life and Emory’s food-service provider Sodexo to evaluate dining on main campus this semester.

Dave Furhman, senior director of the University Food Service Administration, and Eric Bymaster, Campus Life’s assistant vice president of finance and operations, are spearheading the initiative.

This year, they will begin with Cox Hall food court, Einstein Bros Bagels in the Goizueta Business School and Miss Jean’s Place at the Emory School of Law.

In 2014, the parties involved will focus on food options in the School of Medicine, Dooley’s Depot (Zaya’s) and Cannon Chapel, and in 2015, they will assess venues at the Rollins School of Public Health and the Whitehead Biomedical Research Building.

For a majority of the meeting, Furhman presented Emory Dining’s goals, research and plans for implementation. He also shared a list of potential vendors to the students.

In Furhman’s presentation, he discussed the goals of retail dining, including variety, convenience, sustainability and pricing. According to Furhman, the retail dining landscape currently consists of 12 locations with 21 venues, 10 of which are in Cox Hall.

All venues are operated and managed by Sodexo, and some are under-performing, he said.

In spring, Sodexo conducted research that analyzed the student demographics to understand the undergraduate population’s dining habits, including when, where and what they eat. They found that the student body consisted of many eaters who enjoy healthy food, late-night snacks or prefer upscale dining.

The team plans to review and evaluate each retail operation based on several criteria: menu variety, flavor profiles, commitment to sustainability, brand ethos consistency with campus life core values, survey data and stable finances, according to an Feb. 5 Wheel article.

With this test, they will only renovate, replace or remove the retail units that do not meet these requirements.

Furhman also presented various potential new venue options like Top Spice Thai, La Madeleine, Panera Bread and Johnny Rockets.

According to FACE co-chair and College sophomore Michael Sacks, attendees at the last meeting suggested that Cox Hall offer a half sandwich, half salad and half soup meal option.

Cox Hall implemented the suggestion within a matter of days, he said. On the other hand, implementing a gluten-free option at Cox Hall has become more complicated than previously thought, he said.

— By Karishma Mehrotra