Paula Amols, director of Dining Services and Racer Hospitality, has announced several more changes to Murray State dining venues among others instituted since her appointment as director in early January.
Changes include the upcoming summer renovation of the Thoroughbrewed Room and renovations next year to Winslow Dining Hall. In addition to these renovations, some services have been offered more recently.
These new services include extended hours at Fast Track, a wider variety of products at all dining locations and, most recently, the Regents Thoroughbrewed Cafe upgrade.
That upgrade, which was instituted Sunday, has required a cut in hours of operation but has expanded the variety of products the venue provides.
Amols said the change to the operation in Regents was necessary for the survival of the business. She said the cafe has been struggling for a long time, unable to cover its costs.
Earlier in the fall semester the cafe within Regents was under the scrutiny of officials for its lack of profit.
Amy Crump, food services supervisor of Dining Services and Racer Hospitality, said earlier last semester the cafe started having financial problems when keycards were introduced for building access. She noted this created a problem for students who belonged to the other residential colleges, since they no longer had ease of access.
Amols met with Will Avery, Regents College residential director, and Cynthia Gayman, Regents College head, to discuss what could be done to make the business succeed.
The decision to cut hours was made as part of an effort to turn the cafe into more of a convenience store. By offering a variety of products, such as toilet paper, laundry detergent and cold medicine, more students will be interested in doing business there.
The layout of the operation has changed to accommodate the new products. Students can actually go into the store and browse the inventory then check out before leaving the room.
Amols said the novelty of the change made it successful for the first few days and she hopes to see the trend continue.
“If this convenience store method doesn’t work out, we might have to eliminate the service in Regents altogether,” she said.
Amols said some of the biggest problems the venue has to do with location and publicity. She said no one knows the store is there. Regents’ residents use the venue, but the majority of White residents as well as those from the other residential colleges do not.
She said if the new operation begins to turn profit or if it continues to stay even, there are things she is looking to do over the summer to make it even more accessible.
Avery, said the change he has seen to the venue has suited some students and others were disappointed. The new hours of operation are from 8 p.m. to midnight, which many students find inconvenient since the venue was previously open for a majority of the day.
He said if students from the other residential colleges knew about the cafe more would use it. All students are allowed access to the cafe.
In addition to the changes made to the Regents venue, Amols announced every dining venue on campus will now be privy to fresh sushi daily.
The service was launched Monday, and each venue will begin offering six types of sushi. These include California rolls, spicy crab rolls, shrimp rolls, vegetable rolls, Japanese bagel rolls and crunchy shrimp rolls.
Jasmine Thai Cuisine and Sushi Bar will deliver the fresh sushi to all the campus venues.
Amols said sushi will be brought fresh every day because of its short shelf life.