Source: The Red and Black

By KRISTEN COULTER

Published, May 1, 2007

Waiting for a table at The Grill at 2 a.m. on a weeknight may be a thing of the past, thanks to University Food Services.

This semester, officials from Food Services decided to extend Snelling Dining Commons' hours to 24 Monday through Thursday.

"It has been a huge success," said J. Michael Floyd, the director of food services. "The numbers have surpassed our initial projections."

Floyd said Food Services serves breakfast foods to about 550 students from midnight to 7 a.m at Snelling. Most of the students go to the dining hall between midnight and 2 a.m., Floyd said.

He said advanced planning made the transition to a 24-hour dining facility "very smooth."

Officials from Food Services began discussions about extending Snelling's hours in December and announced their decision in January, Floyd said.

Food Services officially opened Snelling for 24 hours March 19.

Although they initially planned to extend the hours in August 2007, Floyd said Food Services officials decided to extend the hours in March, because March is a slower time for the dining halls.

Floyd also said he hopes the March extension will be an enticement for students to purchase the meal plan for the next school year.

From midnight to 7 a.m., Snelling offers a breakfast menu, which includes pastries, biscuits, bacon, eggs, cookies and many other options.

Out of the entire menu, Floyd said the biscuits are one of the most popular items.

He said employees at Snelling make about 500 biscuits each night.

Melissa Robbins works at the Snelling desk greeting students from midnight to 6 a.m. Of the more than 500 students she sees each night, Robbins said most of them are on the meal plan.

Ben McDowell, a sophomore from Atlanta, is on the meal plan and said he eats at Snelling after midnight at least three nights a week.

"I like to eat late and go to bed with a full stomach," McDowell said.

Alex Roberts, a freshman from Savannah, also enjoyed eating during the extended hours. He ate at Snelling Wednesday night after he attended a Widespread Panic concert.

"I love Snelling," Roberts said. "It's been a blast."

Floyd said representatives from Food Services expect to see more than 1,000 students each night during finals.

Many of the students eating late at Snelling echoed Floyd's projections.

Amanda Luong, a freshman from Atlanta, also eats late at Snelling regularly. She said she expects her attendance to increase as the school year ends.

"Now that finals are approaching, I'm going to be here a lot more," Luong said.


Published by The Red and Black, May 1, 2007