New Rollins, new options

Rollins hopes to expand to a diner-type setting in October.
Freshman Andi Edmonson holds Campus Dining Services' new trays at Rollins dining hall. The trays were designed to discourage students from taking more food than they need.

Rollins Dining Hall opened this week, featuring a new dining area and smaller trays.

“I kind of like the smaller trays because students are taking less, and it is helping our food costs,” Rollins Dining Hall Assistant Manager Brent Mannebach said. “It is also causing students to watch portion sizes and controlling the waste per plate.”

Freshman Chelsea Bengier agreed and said that it helps her watch what she eats.

“Personally, I don’t need a tray, but the smaller the tray, the better because it makes you watch portion sizes," Bengier said. "I can see why they would be concerned about the waste and the environment though.”

Mannebach said plate waste studies are done to show the average waste per plate, but none have been conducted yet to know the impact.

While the trays were being renovated, so was the dining hall. Campus Dining Services Marketing Manager Andrew Lough said having Rollins back is reducing the size of lines.

“It helps a lot because you’ve got those extra seats,” Lough said. “We have done a lot to address the crowding at other places by adding extra tables and seating, and with Rollins being open, it allows us to give a little more space and variety for our customers.”

Lough said it's hard to predict the impact of the smaller trays at this point, but as soon as things settle down it will be easier to figure out.

“It’s a little early to tell so far because we have only been open for a couple of weeks," Lough said. "With so many students moving in, it is a lot of new things. One of the things we do notice (is) when things are stressful, students become a little more wasteful. Around December with the stress of finals, students that are conscious become more lax and wasteful.”

Lough also said the new entrance to the dining hall is also a great benefit to the residents of the attached halls.

“One of the big changes is the new entrance to Rollins," Lough said. "Aside from being an aesthetic upgrade, it also gives us more security in the residence hall. Because the entrance is separate from the dining hall, we can be open later."

Freshman Denaro Mack said the food was worth the wait, but the new entrance is hazardous. “I feel like Rollins is way too small, and the fact that you have to stand in line on the steps for an extended period of time is ridiculous,” Mack said. “The food in Rollins is really good and worth the wait, but I don’t like how you have to stand on the stairs.”

Rollins Pizza To Go service moved to Eva J’s during the renovation, but other Rollins menu items didn't make the move because of Eva J's smaller kitchen size. Lough said the items would re-debut soon because the move back to the new facility allows them more space. Along with the pizza service, Rollins will also be expanding its late-night dining options.

“Sometime in October we will be adding new menu items and will be staying open later,” Lough said. “We are going to make it into a sort of diner, and hopefully, it will be popular with our customers. They will expand the menu to offer more options other than pizza.”

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