Dining Services Adjusts Hours, Offerings in Response to Mason Community Input

Posted: August 13, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Ryann Doyle

This fall, new developments in Dining Services will change what the Mason community is eating, how they are ordering and picking up food and when and where they can dine.

Meals with a theme and dining events will take place all over the Fairfax Campus, making meal time more convenient, healthy and fun.

  • In the Johnson Center Food Court, La Patisserie will feature a self-serve, computerized ordering kiosk in front of the café to cut down on long lines. The kiosk will also be accompanied by a walk-up window for easy pickup and expedited service.
  • Taco Bell will offer extended late night hours until 11 p.m., Monday through Friday, and weekend hours until midnight on Saturday and Sunday in response to popular demand.
  • In the Bistro, Hot Stuff Pizza will be replaced by a Halal food station and bistro-style pizza by the slice and whole pie. The exhibition cooking station on the serving line will be branded “World’s Fare” and feature a new menu of international favorites leaning toward balanced, healthful dining. The World’s Fare menu will change weekly.
  • George’s Restaurant, located on the third floor of the Johnson Center, will open for dinner Monday through Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m.
  • Ciao Hall, located on the bottom floor of Student Union Building II, will feature two to three special menus each month. These will include menus such as Hotel Style Brunch, Traditional Steak Night and Heritage Celebration.
  • Ike’s Restaurant in the President’s Park residential complex will feature a monthly iPod deejay night in partnership with Mason’s Housing and Residence Life and the Resident Student Association on the third Thursday of most months. Dee Dee Daye, manager of Ike’s Restaurant, will be rolling out menu specials with the help of her staff.

In addition, a new convenience store is set to open in the new resident student neighborhood in the northeast sector of the campus. Tailored to residents’ needs, the store’s selection will be different from the Express in the Johnson Center. In an online survey that is still open, students have voted on healthy groceries, fresh fruit and vegetables, toiletries and other items they would like at the new convenience store.

At the Arlington Campus, Dining Services is moving toward healthier meal options. The Mason Café will reintroduce a salad bar to include more vegetable items such as tabouleh and vegan tuna and chicken salad. In response to feedback from the Arlington Campus community, dining manager Deniz Reynolds will also be adding turkey burgers and zesty vegan bean burgers to the grill menu to be served all day. Turkey sausages will be added to the breakfast menu. Island Oasis Smoothies was a new addition to the campus this summer and will continue to offer healthy refreshments year-round.

At the Prince William Campus, Randall’s Café will open on Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. Smoothies and paninis have been added to the daily offerings.

“Hours of operations [at the venues] have been thoughtfully adjusted based on ongoing conversations between University Services, University Life, Sodexho and student representatives, and feedback collected through the online comment system, hard copy reviews at many of the venues, and P2P dialogue with customers from across the Mason community,” explains Michael Galvin, director of marketing and community affairs for Dining Services.

New fall hours of dining venues, subject to “some slight tweaking along the way,” are now available at the Dining Services web site.

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