Chartwells revealed plans for the addition of Chick-fil-A to the MSC and a dining hall on West Campus.
University Dining and Chartwells started construction in December 2019 on the MSC cafeteria to add a Chick-fil-A, which will occupy the spaces previously housing Zatar and Brazos Valley BBQ. The date of completion has not been announced yet, but students can expect the location to be finalized by fall 2020.
District Marketing Manager for Chartwells Stephanie Denson said the decision to add a Chick-Fil-A to the cafeteria took six months.
“We did our own internal surveys that we do every fall as the dining services for this campus, but then the MSC group did a brand preference survey as well, and they kind of both pointed to that’s what students want on this campus,” Denson said.
While choosing a new dining facility, Chick-fil-A presented a variety of positive contributions to campus dining, said Denson.
“I think it goes back to it being an incredible brand partner and just brand recognition on this campus, it was mentioned highly in our surveys,” Denson said. “It is a really popular brand, not just in this state but in this part of the country, and really popular on college campuses. It has a good speed of service, consistent quality, affordability and things like that are really few of the reasons we wanted to get them on this side of campus.”
Biomedical sciences freshman Cristina Harvey said the new Chick-fil-A’s proximity to areas the Underground location couldn’t easily reach is a benefit, but refrained from giving her full support due to the lack of variety it causes for campus dining options.
“I think a lot of students would like another [Chick-fil-A] that’s closer to the center of campus, but we could probably use something different,” Harvey stated. “I would like it because it’s closer to my dorm.”
Also coming soon is a dining hall on West Campus to accompany the Ag Cafe. It is set to include four dining options, including a full-service Chick-fil-A, Copperhead Jack’s, Houston Street Subs and a salad location as well as a full-service Starbucks.
Dirk Anderson, director of operations for retail dining, said the decision process has taken a year and a half of intensive research.
“There’s a whole process,” Anderson said. “[The] university has to approve the funding, and then it comes to us and we start looking at the concepts. I’d say it’s definitely been over a year and a half. We had to have a balance with Creekside [Market] as well since it’s just down the street.”
The dining hall on West Campus is set to open in fall of 2021 with an open layout and a large seating area.
“It’s just really neat, open space, community-style seating all throughout,” Anderson said. “It’s going to be a beautiful location.”