In response to student demands for a Chipotle-like dining option, Sodexo will offer a similar restaurant in it’s rotating venue, Sodexo and University representatives said Wednesday.
The Tex-Mex style venue will be housed in the space adjacent to Little Italy for three weeks while the Dining Services Commission gathers student opinion about the quality of the food. The new burrito venue is slated to open within the next three weeks and will include fish, chicken, pulled pork, beef and daily vegetarian options.
To add a new brand name venue to J Street would cost anywhere from $600,000 to $700,000 dollars, Sodexo Dining Director Mo Emami said, which includes licensing, union and construction costs. To put a Sodexo-brand venue would be much less expensive, which the University chose to do with the new venue.
“It will be just like Chipotle” Emami said of the new option. “But our prices will be 25 percent cheaper than Chipotle’s.”
Because of union and spacing issues, the University will not be able to put a name-brand venue into J Street this year, but has not ruled it out for a dining option next year.
“If it is that popular we will keep it,” Managing Director of Campus Support Services Nancy Haaga said of the Sodexo venue. “We will expand and enhance it.”
Freshman Paige Esterkin has been working with Executive Vice President Kyle Boyer to bring a Mexican venue like the popular Chipotle or Qdoba to J Street.
“It is all about making students happy,” Esterkin said. “If students are happy with the new venue, then we succeeded.”
Esterkin has been circulating a petition that she plans to send to Sodexo.
“We’ve known since the beginning that we could not have Chipotle but Qdoba is possible,” Esterkin said.
If Qdoba were to be installed next year one of J Street’s current venues would have to leave.