Transition to Chartwells smooth
Since Chartwells was chosen as Youngstown State University’s food service provider in early May, the switch from Sodexo to Chartwells has gone “very well,” said John Young, director of Kilcawley Center.
Chartwells officially began operations at YSU on July 1 and, with the exception of Jamba Juice in Kilcawley Center, all of the dining options under Chartwells will open with the beginning of fall classes.
“The only place that is not opening with the first day of school will be the Jamba Juice location,” Young said. “That was kind of the understanding from the start.”
Young said Chartwells’ willingness to work with the previous dining staff contributed to the smooth transition.
“We were lucky that Chartwells had retained and given opportunities to the existing employees and management staff,” he said. “A lot of them already had the knowledge of campus in the areas they are working in.”
This allowed for a quicker changeover, Young added.
“They weren’t really starting from scratch in regards to hiring and training new employees,” he said. “So that’s been very helpful.”
While there is no set date, Jamba Juice is expected to open within the first two weeks of school, Young said.
“But everything else – including the Christman dining hall and the new Innovation Kitchen, which is the Pete’s Place restaurant – is scheduled to open,” he said.
Christman Dining Commons opened on Saturday to accommodate students moving into the residential houses.
Also, Cushwa Hall recently underwent renovations, causing slight setbacks for the building’s dining area. However, Young doesn’t expect any problems.
“They are working at a fast pace to complete all those,” he said. “Some of those renovations are kind of holding us up in regards to getting that café location set up. But as long as they complete all those tasks down there and give us time to get set up, that will open with the start of school.”
Other new eateries – along with Jamba Juice and Innovation Kitchen – include Chop’d & Wrap’d and 2Mato in the KC Food Court and Mondo Subs in The Hub.
“I think it’s pretty neat,” freshman Kathryn Kessler said. “I like how we have a Jamba Juice coming in and, overall, I think we have a lot of different and good options.”
Meanwhile, Dunkin Donuts in The Hub and Denny’s Fresh Express in the KC Food Court are two eateries that carry over from Sodexo and will open with the start of classes.
Under the new Chartwells agreement, Chick-Fil-A is scheduled to be installed in Pete’s Place and open in year two, replacing Innovation Kitchen.
“I like the food options this year,” said Lexi Brandt, junior. “There seems to be healthier places and more places. Even Christman appears to be better and have more food options.”