Bon Appétit starts year with changes in prices, hours and new lunch program

Rebecca Carvalho

Dining service Bon Appétit begins its second year at Lawrence with some programming changes, ranging from price and schedule changes to the sale of new items and the inclusion of a new lunch program.
Dining Services General Manager Julie Severance explained that the university and Green Roots – an initiative at Lawrence aimed at making the campus more environmentally friendly – asked Bon Appétit to reduce the number of disposables in Kaplan’s.
Some students may have not noticed that the price of entrées – the grilled burgers and sandwiches – in Kaplan’s Grill was raised by 25 cents.
“Collaboratively, we came up with the idea to discount the amount of an entrée by 25 cents if a guest purchases an eco-container. We hope that this incentive will drastically increase the amount of eco-containers used on campus, thus reducing our disposable waste,” said Severance. Kaplan’s panini offerings have also undergone change in price and content.
“Last year the panini program consisted of four sandwiches which were basically meat and cheese and not much else. This year, I wanted to implement a true panini program. The paninis now have quality, authentic ingredients – the price was raised to reflect that,” explained Severance.
Not only did prices change, but the number of items for sale in Kaplan’s Grill and Kate’s Corner Store also differs from last year. At Kaplan’s, a chicken, bacon and ranch wrap and two made-to-order salads were added to the menu.
There are additional bakery items available for breakfast and throughout the day. Express items – the pre-made sandwiches and salads previously found in Kaplan’s – are now sold at Kate’s Corner Store.
Kate’s Corner Store is also offering different bottled beverage varieties and new types of candy. In response to the larger number of incoming students, Kate’s hours of operation were changed so that the store opens at 8 a.m. on weekdays.
“With the influx of new freshmen on campus, we wanted to make sure we were able to give the best customer service we could. By opening at 8 a.m. in Kate’s we can meet the needs of those who are looking for a fast cup of coffee and Danish – no waiting in line at Kaplan’s!” said Severance.
One result of the weekday hours being lengthened is that the store now stays closed until 4 p.m. on weekends. The biggest new implementation this year, however, is the adoption of the sack lunch program.
“A student comes in to Kate’s and picks out two sandwiches, a piece of hand fruit, chips, cookies and a beverage. The cashier swipes the student’s card, just as would be done in Andrew Commons,” explained Severance.
The idea started last year when many students complained that it was difficult to make it to lunch during the week due to class schedules and rehearsals. “I remembered, coming from St. Olaf, how popular our sack lunch program was there and thought it would be a good fit at Lawrence,” said Severance.
So far the responses to this new lunch program have been quite positive, exceeding Bon Appétit’s expectations. The sack lunch program is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and according to Severance, it will run throughout the academic year.
“As we did last year, we will be asking for feedback at the end of term one and will implement changes going into term two,” said Severance. “I encourage people to use the comment cards that are available in all venues – we read them at our management meetings on Thursdays and we do respond.”
In addition, there will be a Student Dining Committee starting Wednesday, Sept. 22. This group of students will meet with Severance monthly to discuss ideas related to Bon Appétit, something she hopes will stimulate an open and productive dialogue about Bon Appétit.