Updated: Jan 16, 2019
There’s a new place to get your chicken on campus.
Upon overwhelming request from Salisbury University students and faculty members, a Chick-fil-a licensed location has opened in the Guerrieri University Center.
Though it stands where Gull’s Nest stood just one year ago, the space has been updated to meet the standards of a national, name-brand chain.
The remodeling of the space was finished in seven weeks, but the process of bringing one of America’s most particular and selective fast food chains onto campus was far from swift and required detailed licensing and approval.
Director of SU Dining Services Owen Rosten reviewed several polls and surveys which ranked Chick-fil-a, among other fast food entities, high atop the list of students’ dining desires.
“It’s a great addition to the campus and is exactly what the students asked for,” Rosten said. “More than 80 percent of SU students wanted a national brand food source on school property.”
Chick-fil-a was chosen due to their hallmark customer service and core business values.
Other considerations included McDonald’s and Subway, but were simply not selected due to their lacking of a majority student interest and enjoyment.
“Their products are pure quality and students are happy, even excited, to work at this specific campus location as opposed to other current SU dining outlets,” Rosten said.
The newest Chick-fil-a location on the Eastern Shore of Maryland currently employs close to 80 people, all Salisbury University students, and they are looking for more.
Sophomore Madison Campbell shared her experience as a newly-hired employee on-campus.
“I love it—it’s always busy and [it] gives me something to do and look forward to…everyone who works there is very nice,” Campbell said.
As of early February 2017, the campus location fulfills an average of 1,500 daily transactions.
Despite being an “express” location with a more streamlined menu as opposed to drive-thru franchisees, the popularity still remains with SU students.
In addition, the SU dining services department aims to establish a student managerial program within the new Chick-fil-a in which students hoping to pursue such fields can gain real life experience and know-how at managing a retail location.
Coinciding with SU’s first chain dining facility was a recent alteration to the meal plan policy which now allows students to roll over their unused dining dollars between semesters of their enrollment.
“It is now easier than ever for meal plans and school dining funds to be used at Chick-fil-a and other on-campus locations like RiseUp Coffee,” Rosten said.
According to the dining services department, student voices will continually be heard in the immediate future, with a strong likelihood of even greater national brand dining options coming down the road.
Questions and interests in Chick-fil-a student workforce opportunities can be addressed through the website at salisbury.edu/dining.
By SAWYER CORNELIUS
Featured photo: Students and community members alike try out the new Chik-fil-a Express location in SU's Guerrieri University Center (WMDT, Sawyer Cornelius images).