Food trucks get go ahead for GWorld

Food trucks will soon be able to accept GWorld as payment following an announcement from the University after months of student lobbying.
Media Credit: Hatchet File Photo by Alex Maher | Hatchet Photographer
Food trucks will soon be able to accept GWorld as payment following an announcement from the University after months of student lobbying.

Students will soon be able to pay with their GWorlds at food trucks around campus, an administrator said Wednesday.

Senior Associate Vice President for Administration Ed Schonfeld said the move was in response to a letter submitted by the Student Association this week.

The University has not yet decided when food trucks will begin accepting GWorlds, and Schonfeld said details about the application process have yet to be ironed out.

"We are in the process of developing criteria for [food trucks’] inclusion in the program,” Schonfeld said. “We continually look for ways to add variety and quality to students’ dining options. We hope that food trucks help meet this goal.”

Steve Nichols, deputy director of the GWorld card program, said administrators expected the move would cause food trucks to “blow up” in popularity even more.

“Once they take the card, they’re going to be pretty successful,” he said. “We’re anticipating they’re going to be really popular.”

Most food trucks, which serve up meals like kabobs, paninis and macaroni and cheese along H Street every day, had been shut out from GWorld, causing many operators to grumble that they were losing potential student customers with campus dollars to spend.

Student Association cabinet member Ben Leighton said the plan received little “pushback” from administrators, who called it a win-win situation for students, food trucks and the University.

“It works better for students because it allows more dining programs, more competition,” Leighton, vice president for undergraduate student policy, said. “There’s already a market for these food trucks, so the University will get a little bit extra money too.”

GWorld vendors must give a slice of their profits back to the University, though officials have in the past said the amount vendors must pay for each GWorld swipe is confidential information.

A few food trucks with brick-and-mortar restaurants already accept GWorld, like the Lebanese food truck Kababji D.C., prompting more trucks to seek card readers.

In the letter, student leaders had to address concerns that adding GWorld machines would bring more food trucks to campus, hurting pedestrian safety on H Street as crowds would line the street even more. Administrators also were concerned that food truck trash would litter campus.

“When you’re not in a restaurant, and food trucks aren’t contained, trash may spread more quickly,” Leighton said.

Leighton said solutions included working with administrators to add trash cans to campus and coordinating with the Residence Hall Association to make a video about pedestrian safety.

He added that their proposals helped clear the hurdles that had caused concern about the move.

“I’m confident because there doesn’t seem to be too much opposition. Everyone we talked to realizes it will benefit students,” Leighton said.

Chloe Sorvino contributed to this report.

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