Cyber changes, celebrated and criticized

By Sara Scheler

September 4, 2013

The new school year brought many changes to the Cyber Café. Senior director of Dining Services Kimberly Nickelberry said she has been pushing for these changes for the past two years.

Nickelberry said her vision was to create better traffic-flow in the Cyber Café so the lines can be shorter and service can be improved.

Deb Kash, director of Auxiliary Services, said another goal was to “create a destination for students.”

The two decided to take away the 2Mato pizza station in order to expand the Sub Generation sandwich bar. Because pizzas were not selling as well by comparison to subs and sandwiches, they felt this change would improve overall speed and service. The pizza ovens were moved upstairs and pizza will now be a regular feature in the Dining Hall.

The physical structure of the Cyber Café has also changed. The crowded space has been rebuilt in a half-circle shape with a coffee nook, self-service soda machine and soup wells. The registers were moved away from the food stations so students can bypass the long lines if they are grabbing items to go.

In addition, meal exchange hours were extended. They begin at 8 a.m. and are valid for most of the day, giving students more flexibility to get meals in-between classes without waiting for meal exchange to begin.

Sophomore Andrew Meissen said, “I enjoy the faster service and how they renovated and extended meal exchange hours…all-in-all it makes it a lot more convenient and I can eat when I want.”

However, meal exchange has been downgraded and only works on certain classic subs like ham and turkey. Sophomore Mariana Bojorquez said she feels this change is unfair and inconvenient because her favorites are among the premium selections. Sophomore Andrea Hinojosa said that as a vegetarian, she feels the limited meal exchange selection is a problem.

Nickelberry and Kash also made some adjustments to the foods offered in the Cyber Café. Students can now choose between white, wheat, Asiago, Ciabatta or flatbread for their subs. There is no longer a surcharge for changing a sub into a salad and hard-boiled eggs are now regular options in the Outtakes grab-and-go section.

Nickelberry also said her employees are pleased with the changes because it “brings them out front” and allows them to interact with the students. In addition, Nickelberry implemented a promotional system for her employees—they receive monetary perks if they collect positive comment cards.

Both Nickelberry and Kash said the changes will be carefully observed for a few weeks and they will make adjustments as needed.