CSU Bakersfield is receiving new dining services. Student Affairs sent out an email on Aug. 27 notifying students of the new dining quarters. CSUB signed an agreement with Aramark for a period of seven years.
The agreement went into effect July 1, 2017 and is to end on June 30, 2024. Aramark has funded $1.3 million toward the new dining facilities. This includes: the Runner Cafe turned into a buffet, the new restaurants, and the temporary lunch trucks. The total cost of the construction is $3.2 million. CSUB will pay the remaining amount.
Restaurants like Rowdy’s, Panda Express, Which Wich, and Starbucks will be accessible by mid-October for the students.
“The new construction of the dining services will produce 50 accessible jobs for students,” said Michael Lukens, director of public affairs and communications at CSUB
“Starbucks will be inside the bookstore and Which Wich will be replacing TOGO’S,” said Assistant Vice President for Facilities Management Patrick Jacobs.
“They’re trying to create an [an atmosphere in] the Student Union where students recognize that that’s a gathering place. This is a decision that they’re hopeful will draw more students to the Student Union,” said Lukens
Construction was not given the green light until July 1, thus the conflicting schedule of finishing the construction before the first day of school.Food trucks were introduced as a temporary solution for a more diverse dining experience.
The campus is also receiving a renovation in the café as it’s in the process of being transformed into a buffet. It will be finished mid October as well.
“As far as I’m aware the buffet is a permanent project,” said Jacobs.
Andrew Huerta, an incoming freshman at the university, had commented upon his wishes towards the improvement of the food variety in the cafe.
“Breakfast is the café’s best meal, and they should introduce healthier food in the buffet,” said Huerta.
CSUB Runner Café will now be operating as a buffet and continues to be under renovations.
It currently offers many meal choices that will see improvement as the year progresses. Breakfast is from 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m., lunch is from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and dinner is from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Josue Cruz, president of the Japan and Beyond club on campus, said he had very little knowledge of the dining changes occurring on campus. He also wished he would have had more of a say in the dining options.
“I was only aware of Panda Express, and that’s before they put the sign up,” said Cruz.
Student input was placed through a random selection of students consisting of Assocaited Students Inc. members. The students walked around campus during spring with leaders of Student Affairs. The students provided feedback on the campus and some of that feedback was the proposition of diversifying the dining and the possibility of more options.
Lukens said that making a decision involved certain qualifications.
“Quality service with quality food, restaurants that had a known reputation and high value, also restaurants who were already on campuses and were associated with being part
of a university campus and were successful on campus grounds.
“They also had to have an association with our food network Aramark,” said Lukens.
The university is to take 10 percent of the profit of sales and Aramark 70 percent.