Hitting Refresh on Campus Dining Options

Hilary Bentman, Associate Director of Communications
Students lining up to order from Moe's
Moe's Southwest Grill will move from Harris Hall to the University Center.

Some big changes and enhancements are coming to dining at Widener.

In fall 2023, the university will refresh its retail dining brands to further increase value for students, including transitioning food operations away from Harris Hall to the centrally located University Center (UC), the hub of student life on campus.

In MacMorland Commons in the UC, the Tenders, Love, and Chicken and the current Provisions on Demand (POD) will be replaced by the Moe’s Southwest Grill relocated from Harris Hall. Two remote kitchens, featuring Auntie Anne’s Pretzels and Cinnabon, will also be added. Bento Sushi will remain.

These changes will be accompanied by the addition of food lockers where people can conveniently pick up their food orders.

MacMorland Commons, showing tables and Bento Sushi location
MacMorland Commons in University Center will be home to Moe’s Southwest Grill, Bento Sushi, and two remote kitchens, featuring Auntie Anne’s Pretzels and Cinnabon.

A new and improved POD will be located in the lower level of the UC, where it will operate 24/7, and be cashier-less via a self-checkout kiosk.

These dining changes are in direct response to feedback the university gathered through a series of information sessions and a survey conducted last year.

The overarching theme throughout the survey process was that students needed longer hours of dining operations, more consistent options, and fewer restrictions. 

“We have taken the feedback and suggestions from our information meetings and surveys very seriously,” said RJ Oliveri, director of strategic business transformation for Widener. “We hear you, and in Widener’s spirit of belonging, want everyone to know this progress wouldn’t be possible without our collaborative Pride community. I hope you are all as excited as I am for these positive changes to the Widener Dining program.”

Additional changes planned:

•    With Einstein Bros. Bagels phasing out, the university is looking into alternatives for another breakfast meal exchange option for students.

•    Good Uncle has changed its business model and will no longer offer food delivered stop-by-stop around campus in a mobile food truck. Students can still get their Good Uncle fix through meals sold at the POD in containers that are ready to be heated up as-is. Convection ovens specifically planned for warming Good Uncle meals will be conveniently placed in the POD and available 24/7.

These dining enhancements are all on track to open for the fall 2023 semester. 

With food options leaving Harris Hall, the lower level of the residence hall will be transformed into a flexible space designed to meet multiple needs and serve many groups across campus. These changes were made through collaboration with both Residence Life and the Office of Student Engagement. 

The Freshens and Starbucks locations will remain unchanged.

Starting in fall 2022, Widener adopted a multi-phased approach to enhancing the on-campus dining experience for students, faculty, and staff.

The first phase included extending the Pride Café hours of operation until 10 p.m. nightly, providing unlimited access for holders of unlimited meal plans. Healthier options were also added, including the new, plant-forward Root station, along with a brand-new coffee machine that freshly grinds, brews, and pours four kinds of La Colombe coffee.

Phase two of the dining program enhancements involve the refresh of the retail brands.

Dining at Widener

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