UA Dining Services Makes Several Changes to Different Campus Locations

In order to adapt to declining enrollment and varying student preferences, Aramark has made changes to dining options at The University of Akron.


(Graphic via The University of Akron)

Aramark first took over The University of Akron’s dining services in 2015 in order to improve the food options available to students.

By Megan Parker, Editor-in-Chief

The University of Akron’s Dining Services, which is controlled by Aramark, has announced changes were made to the dining locations across campus.

According to
a UA press release, the Steak ‘n Shake and Starbucks in the Exchange Residence Hall will not be reopening this fall semester.

Tom George, the Resident District Manager of Aramark for UA, said the closings are due to the declining enrollment of students and those locations being the least popular on campus.

Megan Parker
Steak ‘n Shake and Starbucks signs have been removed from their locations in the Exchange Residence Hall.

According to a table from UA, the declining enrollment started in 2012, when total enrollment was 28,771 students versus the 2011 enrollment of 29,699 students.

Since then, enrollment has continued to drop each year, with a total enrollment of only 20,554 students in 2018 and is expected to be even lower in 2019.

“Steak ‘n Shake was by far the least visited by students,” George said.

Megan Parker
The Union Market has several different options for students, ranging from a variety of sushi to fresh grilled burgers.

Meanwhile, Dining Services has added a new made-to-order deli sandwich station in the Union Market, along with extending several dining locations’ hours and swipe options.

The new deli sandwich station will have Boar’s Head branded products available to students during lunch, dinner and late night as another sandwich option aside from Einstein Brothers Bagels, the press release said.

Megan Parker
The new made-to-order deli sandwich station is located next to the pizza station in the Union Market.

Below is a complete list of the changes made by Dining Services:

  • The Union Market will remain open until midnight on Thursdays and Saturdays. Swipes or meal exchanges will also now be accepted.
  • Einstein Brothers Bagels in the Union Market will be open for breakfast and lunch from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
  • Freshens/Zee’s in the Student Union will be open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays and noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays. Swipe options for breakfast, lunch and dinner will be the same as last semester.
  • Chick-fil-A will have extended hours on Fridays and Saturdays, along with additional swipe options for breakfast on Fridays and new options on Saturdays.
  • Qdoba Mexican Eats in the Student Union will be open from 4 p.m. to midnight on Fridays with new swap menu options.
  • Zee’s Convenience Stores locations in Exchange, Spicer, Quaker and North Quad/Robertson will stay open until 10 p.m. on weekends with more swap options.
  • The Climbing Rock Café hours have shifted to 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday for the fall semester.
  • Rob’s will be open seven days a week: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Fridays, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sundays.

Along with remembering the changes to dining services, George wants students to know how to get the best value for their dining dollars.

“Commuter meal plans are the best way to get the most value for your meal dollar,” George said. “Visit the Zip Card office or go to campus dish through the University website for further information.”