New cafeteria offers variety, paperless payment
The shades go up on Café M Jan. 5, promising the long-awaited pizza oven, full salad bar, sandwich counter, frozen-yogurt machine and deep fryer. In addition, students will now pay for their food using pay cards.
Auxiliary Service Manager Clinton Oie said one of the main goals in designing the new cafeteria was to provide a wide variety of healthy options students.
“There will always be choices, and lots of them,” Oie said. “The cafeteria will always provide vegetarian options and various daily specials.”
Oie said there will also be a cold quick-pick center that will feature smaller items with better prices than before. At the new sandwich counter, customers will be able to select fresh cut meat for made-to-order sandwiches.
Prices for food at the new cafeteria, relative to the old Café M and the recent Green Truck, might be higher or lower depending on the kind of item, the quality, and its sustainability.
The new cafeteria has lots of lateral refrigeration and a walk-in refrigerator and freezer, Oie said. This allows the school to buy a greater variety of food and also to buy in bulk, which should lower the price of some products. The old Café M had less choices and higher prices because of the lack of refrigeration and dry storage.
At the same time, Oie said that one of the main objectives for Café M was for it to be eco-friendly and green. Being green comes with costs, he said, and students should be prepared for the prices of main meals to be comparable to the Green Truck. Though Green Truck meals were popular, many students complained about their costs.
Kim ’12 said that she wants Café M to be healthy and budget friendly.
“[It’ll be good] if the cafeteria finds a way to have healthy foods without making them really expensive,” she said. “In the current Café M, I’m going to buy strawberry gushers that cost $0.75 rather than real strawberries which cost $3.25.”
Part of that green initiative will include new student point of sale cards. According to Director of Academic & Administrative Technology Stuart Posin, the new cards will come into use along with the new café in January.
The cards will be usable at the café and student store. The long-term goal is to transform the school into a “completely moneyless campus,” Posin said.
“Ideally girls shouldn’t have to carry around money,” he added.
Ali ’10 said she is looking forward to the convenience of a point-of-sale card.
“That’s so much handier and it’s easier not having to go to the student store over and over again,” Mills said. “I’ve wanted this since the seventh grade.”
The point of sale cards have been in development for at least a year under Director of Finance and Operations Nick Hernandez’s guidance. While the school transitions to this new system, students will still be able to use their left-over cafeteria booklets.