UM students will play a crucial role in determining Moe’s replacement. Photo courtesy of University Marketing & Communications
When students return to the University following their upcoming summer break, they will find a new restaurant on campus. The Moe’s currently located in Farmer Hall is being replaced, and, while reactions to this news may vary, many students are questioning what this campus hotspot will be replaced with.
To address these concerns, an SGA town hall was held on Nov. 16 in the Farmer Hall meeting room.
Representatives from dining services and Chartwells started off by addressing the reason for replacing the Tex-Mex chain, specifically citing a lack of patronage.
They then moved on to explain what they were thinking of putting in Moe’s place, utilizing a “home-brewed method” through Chartwells. The options they listed were Houston St. Subs; a build-a personal pizza place with salads; Smoked, a barbecue spot; and, a diner that would serve burgers or chicken.
“With an internal concept we have flexibility,” said the Chartwells representative.
There is a plan to debut a small selection of sample items from each restaurant concept, and then set up an online survey for the student body to vote on their favorite option. They also plan to have sample menus available for students to look over in the week leading up to the survey’s launch.
When asked about the prices for the new location, they said that “one of the good things about an internal concept is that we control prices. If we do a national brand, then the prices are more locked in.”
Another question asked by a student was whether there would be vegan and vegetarian options available. The response was that there would be vegetarian options, but vegan options would be limited since the market for them is small.
The rep for Chartwells said that employment would still remain open for students. It was also stated that the current Moe’s employees would still have a job with the new option.
Members of SGA raised concerns over whether the food would be “caf food,” and stated that they did not deem the quality of the food to be that high.
“If we go with the diner concept with the chicken and burgers, you’d be looking at a hand breaded chicken tender or a hand-crafted burger patty that we created ourselves, not frozen like what we serve in the caf,” stated Jason Quarles, the director of dining services at UM.
The new dining option would also feature all the current perks available at Moe’s, such as online orders and a place to leave concerns online. Several times during the town hall, the representatives encouraged the audience to provide feedback online, stating that they looked at and considered all the comments they received.
The shutdown of Moe’s is planned to occur over the 2019 summer break. This shutdown will also include the removal of the sweet shop whose space will be incorporated into the new design.
With the floor open for questions, the conversation shifted away from the new dining establishment in Farmer.
Students wanted to know if there had been any update on Domino’s taking flex points. The response was that there was currently no update.
In regard to other restaurants taking flex, some students may be disappointed to learn that Taco Bell will not be added to the list, but it is possible that El Agave, may take flex in the future.
They also said that they have attempted to bring Chick-fil-A to Montevallo’s campus, but due to the large cut that Chick-fil-A would want out of the flex point pool, there was no feasible way to bring the popular restaurant to UM.
“We could get one here, but we’d have to give up everything in town to do it,” said Quarles.
Another important point that came up was Chartwells’ plan to update the current meal plans for students. All of the plans are subject for approval and could change. The reason given for the new plans was they are supposed to increase the value of the meal plans. Several of the old plans are slated to be removed as it was deemed that they were no longer cost effective.
Residential Unlimited: $1650 $100 Flex $4.10 cost per meal
Residential 15 per week: $1550 $150 Flex $5.20 cost per meal
Residential block 200 meals $1450 $150 Flex $7.00 cost per meal
Residential 10 per week $1450 $250 Flex $8.00 cost per meal
Commuter 150 meals $1445 $200 Flex $6.30 cost per meal
Commuter 85 meals $803 $200 Flex $7.10 cost per meal
Commuter 40 meals $450 $150 Flex $7.50 cost per meal
Residential 5 Meals/Week + 350 flex points $1,415.00 $14.20 cost per meal
Residential 10 Meals/Week + 200 flex points $1,415.00 $8.10 cost per meal
Residential 15 Meals/Week + 150 flex points $1,415.00 $5.62 cost per meal
Residential 19 Meals/Week + 100 flex points $1,415.00 $4.61 cost per meal
Commuter 300 meals + 50 flex points $1,665.00 $5.38 cost per meal
Commuter 150 meals + 75 flex points $1,000.00 $6.16 cost per meal
Commuter 75 meals + 100 flex points $645.00 $7.26 cost per meal
Commuter 50 meals + 75 flex points $450.00 $7.50 cost per meal
Commuter 25 meals + 50 flex points $250.00 $8.00 cost per meal
Harrison Neville is the editor in chief for The Alabamian. He is a fourth-year English major whose hobbies include reading, hiking, cooking and writing. He has previously worked for The Alabamian as a managing editor, distribution manager, copy editor and SGA columnist.