The evolution of MIT dining continues this term, as a hodgepodge of changes accompany the inevitable return of insatiably hungry students.
The Forbes Family Café in the Stata Center will be extending its operations for three hours. It will be open until 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, starting this semester, according to Anne W. Wilson, marketing specialist for MIT Campus Dining. The extension is one of several new changes designed to improve the campus dining experience for the MIT community, as well as to provide more options now that Pritchett Dining has been closed due to financial woes, Wilson said.
The space that was occupied by Pritchett has yet to be designated for future use, though Wilson said it would be used “most likely for event space.”
In addition to the later hours for Forbes Café, three cashier lines will now be open instead of two to help alleviate traffic and congestion in the dining spot.
“Getting through the line was pretty difficult,” Wilson said, “so we opened the third register and changed the set-up.”
Across the street in Building 46, the Hungry Mind Café is starting to offer hot food service after a successful trial run at the end of last semester. Previously, the café, which has been open for roughly one year, offered only sandwiches and cold food items.
The Preferred Dining semester fee, rolled back to $300 because of student protests and made possible because of savings from closing Pritchett, will be called “House Dining Membership” from now on, according to Wilson, who explained that “it’s easier to understand that it’s used just for the Houses.” The dormitories that have House Dining are McCormick Hall, Simmons Hall, Baker House, and Next House.
Campus Dining is currently working with Subway to have select Boston locations accept TechCASH, a development that students at nearby fraternity houses should find convenient, Wilson said. “We’ve started talking, but have not set an official date,” she said.
It is unclear how rapidly TechCASH support will come to additional Subways, as previous plans to extend TechCASH to locations outside of MIT have been hindered by MIT-required insurance policies.
The Subway location in Lobdell Food Court, which opened in June six months later than planned, has been doing very well, according to Wilson.
As for the long unoccupied location in Lobdell, Dining is still exploring options and has not made a final decision. Richard D. Berlin III, director of Campus Dining, told The Tech in June that there were plans to bring in a Thai vendor. Wilson said that those plans fell through. “It doesn’t mean that we won’t have that cuisine, just not that restaurant,” the marketing specialist said.
Lobdell currently has four vendors: Café Spice, Sepal, Shinkansen, and Subway.
“We have a few different ways we could go,” said Wilson in regards to filling the last vendor spot in Lobdell. “It’s just a matter of determining what’s appropriate.”
For a full listing of dining options at MIT, see the table on page 8.