The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 35.0°F | Mostly Cloudy

Chinese Restaurant Will Accept Meal Cards

By Eric Richard
Staff Reporter

Students will be able to use their ValiDine meal cards to pay for delivery service from Kowloon's Chinese restaurant next week, said Alan Leo, general manager of MIT Food Services. The service is expected to start on Monday, Feb. 11, but could be delayed until as late as Wednesday.

When Kowloon's "tells us they are ready, the menus will be in the students' mailboxes," Leo said. "As soon as we send the menus out, students will be able to call and place their delivery orders."

Kowloon's will deliver from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. seven days a week. There will be no delivery charge, but a $10 minimum order will be required, Leo said.

Leo said the minimum order requirement was reasonable. "The average order placed through Domino's right now is approximately $10," he said.

"It should be a good idea," said Timothy S. Glenn '93, even though he had not heard of this plan before. He added that many of his friends order food and that Chinese food is a popular choice.

New menu to be designed

Leo announced that MIT and Kowloon's plan to jointly design a menu targeted to MIT students. The menu will feature more individual-portion plates and meet the $10 minimum order.

Kowloon's was chosen through a process in which Leo and his staff personally visited competing restaurants, ordered from them, tested for delivery speed, evaluated food quality, and asked students to assess their menus.

MIT Food Services took care to consider students' opinions, Leo said. "While we could not possibly have a school-wide vote on the matter, we attempted to bring in as much student input as possible."

Shari C. Fox '92 said that the new service "offers another option for students who don't want to go out... . You get tired of the same thing at Lobdell or Networks."

Kowloon's beat out Aku Aku

Kowloon's was chosen over its closest competitor, Aku Aku, since it "provided a better value for students and Aku Aku had a $3.50 delivery fee," Leo said. "Kowloon's has a much broader, more appealing menu," he added.

Leo expects that "students will be very happy with the menu when they get it. Kowloon's serves not only Cantonese but also has complete Szechuan and Thai menus."

Kowloon's may experience some transition problems initially, Leo said. The restaurant is making several changes to adjust to the situation, including installing a telephone line dedicated to MIT deliveries only, he added.

There are no immediate plans to negotiate with another delivery service in the near future, Leo said. "We want to give this project time to work out all of the crinkles. We want to make sure that this is dead solid before we move onto other companies. This does not mean that it will be a full year, but at least six to nine months before we begin actively pursuing any other services."