This year, I have not been satisfied with Cafe Q. Although the renovations to it two years ago made it a much nicer place and increased the seating, the cafeteria itself is not built to sustain 5,900 students, grad students, law students, faculty, staff and visitors.
The food distribution area is essentially a big zoo; just a large open space with no order. It's nice that we have eight different areas to get food from, but it's just one long counter with lines essentially wrapping around each other.
The hours are another killer. I just went in to get some food, and the only place that was open was BYOB (where Coyote Jacks used to be). The line for that was at least 25 people deep. When you have 15 minutes between class and work, you can't wait on that type of line. They didn't even have bagels, pastries, or premade sandwiches available. So due to the time constraint I had, I couldn't get any food.
And it doesn't help that the Bobcat Den is closed as it works to be compliant with new state building codes. According to the school newspaper, it is scheduled to be reopened later this month. Quinnipiac does have a dining hall on the York Hill campus, but people usually eat there if they are up at York Hill; they don't go back up for the food, thus, are in the same boat as commuters.
Several things can be done to alleviate some of these issues. First, stagger the hours that things are open and closed. The salad bar can be open before the crowd comes in...it doesn't require any labor once it is set up. Open the deli at 10:30...there is nothing there beforehand preventing it from opening. The Kitchen needs to transition from breakfast to lunch, so it needs more time. Open it at 11:15.
Second, bring back the pre-made sandwiches. Many people go in there on the run between classes or class and work and cannot afford to wait on the lines on the risk of being late. Do more than just bringing back the premade sandwiches...have a select group of dishes readily available...maybe a plain pizza, chicken tenders and french fries, a different sandwich of the day, etc. This will allow people who just want something to get food; everyone who wants something different can wait in line.
Third, keep the students in the communication loop with the Bobcat Den renovations. Once it opens up and students know about it, the lines will start to balance out between the two locations.
Do you feel that this is a big area of focus? What would you do to alleviate it?