Students can take a break from Atherton and ResCo by eating at the food truck. Photo by Evalyn Peacey.
ALEX STENCEL | NEWS REPORTER | firstname.lastname@example.org
The start of the 2020-21 school year had many students complaining about the lack of variety in their meal selections. Location and variety were two main complaints, but also simple issues like how students can eat and have access to food in different places on campus.
To help address these issues, Bon Appètit created a food truck on campus that’s parked on the end of the mall. The idea of a permanent food truck on campus was planned even before the pandemic. Bon Appètit Campus Executive Chef Chad Melinger explained why there was a wait to the start of its use last year.
“There was a delay in the first semester that we had it on campus because of normal health inspections,” Melinger said.
Melinger explained that the Marion County Public Health Department treats food trucks as restaurants and because of that, the food provider needed clearance to serve food there.
“The pandemic only sped up the process, and [the] need for easier access to outdoor dining when the university had to create strict health and safety guidelines for dining,” Melinger said. “We started to implement it so that we can get it out there for another amenity for students, faculty and staff to be able to utilize as opposed to just a dining hall.”
Butler originally decided to partner with Bon Appètit in order to make sure students have a variety of access to different types of food and the implementation of the food truck was encouraging for many students.
Sophomore economics major Aaron Margelofsky was excited at the opportunity to eat something other than the normal rotation foods they have at other dining halls on campus.
“It’s not Atherton, it’s not ResCo, it’s a nice new option, but it’s just a nice place on campus; kind of something a little different,” Margelofsky said.
Margelofsky said his only issue is with the access of information they give to students regarding what they are serving. “It’s not easy to figure out where the food trucks are going to be and what the food trucks are going to have,” Margelofsky said.
Bon Appètit marketing manager Mandy Rentschler has said the company is working to address these concerns from students next semester when they get everything together properly.
“We definitely have plans for Butler Today as well as our Instagram for the reason of people having to kind of find it a little bit more interactive, and that is including on our website,” Rentschler said. “There’s plans for next semester obviously to have a more consistent schedule on that available.”
For students like Hope Wampler, a first-year ballet performance major, location is everything for her because of her classes being near the food truck all the time.
“I’m a dance major and so I’m at Lilly Hall all the time, so it’s kind of a great location,” Wampler said.
The Butler food truck is parked at the South Atherton Mall and operates Tuesday to Thursday from 11:30 a.m to 1:30 p.m with weather permitting.