Manchester University
Oak Leaves

March 9, 2018

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Sophomore Hermela Mebrahtu at The Oaks.

Photo by Maraki Shigzaw

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Junior Courtney Zentz enjoys a meal from Revolution Noodle, complete with a fortune cookie.

Photo by Maraki Shigzaw

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First-year Emily Rogers at The Oaks.

Photo by Maraki Shigzaw 

Campus Noodle Bar Serves Compliments, Criticism

Evan Harris 

To noodle, or not to noodle? That is the question being asked around campus as the Revolution Noodle Bar at The Oaks received mixed reviews after its opening at the beginning of second semester.

Late last semester, Chartwells offered surveys on what new restaurant MU students would be interested in eating at. Students were given several options, like a pasta bar or the winning noodle bar. When the noodle bar was established, Chartwells also added Burrito Bowl Thursday for variety, similar to Wilbur’s Taco Tuesday and Hot Dog Thursday.

Director of Dining Services Lisa Beery shared why the changes were made to The Oaks: “The Revolution Noodle was in response to the feedback we received from students looking for a change in food available to you,” she said.  “The students expressed they would like options other than sandwiches.  We did a poll with students going through The Oaks and Haist Commons and asked if they would like Revolution Noodle, Burrito Bowl or keep The Oaks the same. Revolution Noodle won the poll contest, so that is why we switched it to Revolution Noodle. 

“I am not sure Revolution Noodle is exactly what students thought it would be,” Beery continued, “so, we have again listened to what the students want and are changing the concept again. At this point we are looking at going back to sandwiches or possibly Burrito Bowl and keeping Revolution Noodle once a week.  There are students who do enjoy Revolution Noodle and would like it to stay so we thought keeping it one day a week would cater to those students as well. The change will happen if all goes as planned over Spring Break.”

Despite the popular vote of the Revolution Noodle, card swipes at the restaurant actually decreased in comparison to last semester. According to the Director of Conference Services Alexis Young at the Feb. 21 student senate meeting, it was discovered that the restaurant saw a consistent decrease of 10% in relation to visits.

Combined with the decrease in location visits, Beery also noted another factor in students’ disappointment in the Revolution Noodle, and why noodles and sandwiches could not be served simultaneously. “The space needed for both concepts to run simultaneously in the Oaks is not feasible,” she said. “Additionally, the meal prep time for both to run at the same time would take too long.  We are going back to sandwiches after Spring Break.”

With sandwiches returning back home to The Oaks, what changes to the other restaurants on campus might be made? “At Haist Commons, we have added a pasta bar on Monday and Friday mornings, and a potato bar on Wednesday nights,” Beery said. “We also have a fajita bar at Pantry Station on Tuesdays at lunch, added sauté pans to Mongolian Grill for vegan students so their food is not placed on the grill with meats, and many other additions. At Sisters’ Café, we added egg rolls and hamburgers to their menu.”

Chartwells is also considering additional changes as well. “We are currently evaluating new dining options at our current locations as well as ways to update our menus,” Beery said.  We have a few national brands as well as our own Chartwells concepts that we would love to bring into Manchester.  Once we figure out what we will be putting in at the Chinworth Center we will be able to make decisions in regard to the other locations. I would love to share these ideas, but I am unable to until definite decisions have been made. Our future at Manchester is going to bring some very exciting changes.”