Editorial: Cuisine Conundrum

Lack of menu options define campus dining experience

By Editorial Board

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Achieving educational success doesn’t begin with guided pathways, class size or retention specialists — it starts with proper nutrition.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most students attend school for six hours per day and consume nearly half of their daily caloric intake on campus.

Providing a diversity of nutritional options to mirror its multicultural campus community has been at the forefront of discussions at Contra Costa College since vendors began bidding on retail space prior to completion of the Campus Center Project three years ago.

Brix won the initial bid to feature its cuisine on campus and realized changes needed to be made to accommodate the varying eating habits of CCC students.

An expanded vegetarian menu was implemented, along with multiple halal options, and specialty days like “Meatless Mondays” were devised to expand choices and better ensure nutritional needs would be met.

Following the expiration of Brix’s contract in June, a new vendor, Round 2, has replaced Brix as the go-to campus eatery.

Like its predecessor Brix, Round 2’s initial menu options are less than imaginative and fail to build on the multiplicity of options that Brix eventually adopted to better serve student needs.

Currently, other than salads, only two vegetarian sandwiches are available to students and Round 2 only offers a Mediterranean wrap to students who request halal dishes.

Round 2 owner Nelson Ng said, “My goal is to maintain the price and be affordable to the students.”

This is a noble sentiment, however, when serving a campus where so many students have distinct differences, variety becomes nearly as important as cost.

CCC is far from the days where the only available food was served at a dingy Subway kiosk tucked away on the shady banks of Rheem Creek near the portables below the Applied Arts Building, however, current options feel just as limited.

Even the touch screen ordering process, which brings the campus into the 21st century, has offered a host of unexpected problems to students looking to grab a quick bite in-between classes.

Many students have complained about orders going unfilled because the system allows students to order menu items that are no longer available.

This leaves students waiting for food that never arrives and who are only addressed when the lunch crowd dwindles because the skeleton staff is mostly dedicated toward food preparation.

What’s worse, students attending evening classes who are looking to grab a quick snack before classes will be disappointed to find the security gate closes at 5 p.m.

It is too soon to condemn Round 2 for its lack of options. However, it is time for the vendor to rethink its approach to serving students who attend CCC.

This is the vendor’s opportunity to adapt — or show Round 2 has bitten off more than it can chew.

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