The scoop on dining services


Hannah Powell

A new Starbucks is located in Bierce Library.

By Naquan James and Grant Morgan

Last summer, The University of Akron outsourced its dining services to the Aramark Corporation, a large company that provides many similar services to organizations and companies across the globe.

Since then, many changes have come to UA’s dining options. Changes continued through this most recent summer; and, from information given in an interview with Heather Piper, marketing manager for Aramark, these changes will be outlined below.

First comes Rob’s Dining Hall.

“Over the summer, Rob’s underwent significant renovations,” Piper said. “Not only did we make changes to the layout and design of the dining room, but we revamped the menus to provide students with more on-demand cooking and healthier food options.”

The renovations included improved lighting in the front and back of the venue, a new energy-efficient dish machine that uses less chemicals, and a new water system. Hand dryers came to the bathrooms to “reduce our carbon footprint” and a new hood system was installed in the kitchen.

There are four new features of the Union Market on the second floor of the Student Union. They are a pizza, grill, and salad bar, along with Einstein Bros., which was moved to the Market from its previous location in Bierce Library, where there now is a Starbucks.

The Union Market hours were also extended to provide a late-night option. It is open until midnight Sunday through Thursday.

Along with the Starbucks replacing Einstein Bros. in Bierce Library, a Steak ‘n Shake was installed on E. Exchange Street just below the Exchange apartments, next to the Starbucks that currently exists there.

“Both of these [new] locations fulfill a demand for more options and variety on campus,” Piper said.

This bumps up Starbucks’ presence to four locations on campus: Exchange, Polsky, Bierce, and the Student Union.

Steak n’ Shake is open until 1 a.m. every day of the week.

Students have six new meal plans from which to choose for the fall semester. For residential students, there is the Gold, Blue or the White plan. For commuters is the Apartment 50, Commuter 25 Plus or the Commuter 25. Each plan offers block meals, Dining Dollars (which can only be used on-campus) and guest meal swipes. More information about them can be found here:

Piper also said that 450 students are employed by Aramark this semester.