Angela Coco//The Crown Students will benefit from a variety of changes being made to dining services.
Angela Coco//The Crown
Students will benefit from a variety of changes being made to dining services.

With another school year winding down and final exams and papers beginning in earnest, it seems difficult to look ahead to the 2016-2017 school year. However, students will want to keep an eye on the changes coming to Dining Services over the next few years.

Chartwells, the company that will be replacing Sodexo, has quite a few changes in store for the dining program at King’s. Jared Levin, the Regional Marketing Director for Chartwells and Matt Sfarra, Director of Dining Services for King’s College Dining, said one of those changes will be to Marketplace.

“The Marketplace will receive a facelift over the next two summers,” Levin and Sfarra said.  “This summer, the dining room will be enhanced to be more in line with the lifestyles of today’s students.”

Some changes that will be coming to Marketplace include  a new expanded salad bar and beverage islands. Additionally, the appearance of Marketplace will be updated, including new flooring.  However, not all of these changes will be happening at once.

“Next summer the focus will be on renovating the actual concept spaces to modernize them,” Levin and Sfarra said.

Additionally, the King’s community can expect some new food options at the various eateries on campus, as well as a focus on local brands.

“There will be new concepts and menus in all retail locations,” Levin and Sfarra said.

Some of these new menu items include, but are not limited to, subs, wings, and southwest fare in Connerton’s; and made to order sandwiches, salads, Au Bon Pain Soups, and Electric City Coffee at Susquehanna.  Halal meats and Kosher options will also be found at Susquehanna and other dining locations.

Local brands that will be featured on campus includeMannings Ice Cream and Electric City Coffee Roasters.

The menu options and appearance of the various eateries on campus are not the only things that will be changing. Chartwell’s plans to make some updates to the meal plans.

The new meal exchange program will allow students to use  one meal exchange per meal period at any location on campus. Students will be able to choose from predetermined options for their meal exchange.

New meal plans for residents and commuters will be implemented. Block plans will allow commuters to use their meal swipes however they choose for the semester. For example, one plan for commuters gives students 25 meal swipes for $259.

The dining web site will also include menus with nutritional information, events calendar and coupons.

Features such as mobile ordering and kiosk ordering, LCD screens,, text message feedback, student choice voting, Rockbot interactive music, and AppCard rewards programs will all serve to enhance the dining experience.

Other changes to Dining Services at King’s include a Chick-fil-A at King’s on the Square, a mobile ordering option at Leo’s on Mane, a 24/7 convenience store at Monarch Mart, and a refreshed appearance and enhanced dining areas for Connerton’s, Susequehanna Room, and Leo’s on Mane. Additionally, a new outdoor patio and grill outside of Connerton’s will open in spring 2017, and students will be able to vote on the name.

Students with dietary concerns should be able to find a variety of options no matter where they choose to eat on campus.

“Chartwells will make sure that there are various options satisfy the tastes of the diverse palates on campus,” Levin and Sfarra said.

And perhaps one of the most important features of the new dining services is the amount of options for students to provide feedback. Students can visit Chartwells website to leave feedback, but they can also utilize text messaging, email, and a student choice menu voting system to voice questions and concerns. Managers will also be on the floor, especially when dining services is the busiest.

“Student feedback is a critical component to our program.  After all, this is not Chartwells’ dining program but King’s College’s dining program,” Levin and Sfarra said. “Chartwells is extremely excited and honored to be selected as the new dining services provider for King’s.  We have an open door policy and would like to foster an environment where our guests feel comfortable sharing any and all feedback. Creating this open dialogue will provide direction and ideas we will implement to create a world class program at King’s.”