Aladdin Brings New Food Options to KWC

Brooke Griffin, Staff Writer

Kentucky Wesleyan College has made some recent changes to the food service on campus. They have partnered with a new food company, Aladdin, which has replaced Sodexo. Aladdin has brought new food options to our campus, but has taken away the old food establishments, Subconnection and Jazzman’s. The school’s partnership with Papa John’s has also been eliminated from the students’ meal plans, but the Marketplace will be open 24 hours as a replacement for this. The new replacements include the Panther Café and the Marketplace. The Panther Café was not open for business when it was scheduled to be. The original plan was for it to be open when the 2018 fall semester began, but it opened about a week after classes started. While the Marketplace is still under construction, the Panther Café is up and running.

Returning students will notice that the Panther Café is more modern and high-tech than Subconnection. There are three kiosks that students can customize their order on. Once they are finished ordering, a student can type in their cell phone number and they will receive a text when their order is ready. The kiosk will print a receipt that has to be taken to the cashier to pay for the meal. A student can choose to use either a meal swipe or their flex dollars to pay for their food. When an order is ready, it is placed in the pick-up window, and the order number printed at the top of the student’s receipt is called out.

In a recent interview with two returning Kentucky Wesleyan students, Brooklyn Moore and Evyn Hendrickson, they were asked what their thoughts were of the new upgrade. Both agreed that they like the new Panther Café better than the old Subconnection. “I like it, it’s really good,” said Brooklyn. Evyn commented, “I really like it. The food’s good, the service is better, and there’s variety on what we can order.”

The menu is separated into categories that include Deli, Grill, Salads, and Sides. The menus are displayed on screens above the kiosks for students’ convenience. This way, students are able to look at the menu and decide on their desired order before going up to a kiosk. This simple feature helps move the line along faster.

What seems to be the most popular part is the Starbucks that is attached to the café. The Starbucks was running more behind schedule than the café. It opened about a week later than the actual café part. Only drinks from Starbucks are offered, and, sadly, they do not sell any Starbucks food.

There are some downsides to the Panther Café. The setup of the new facility is inefficient in a couple of ways. There isn’t enough room for long lines behind the kiosks and this results in students forming an unorganized cluster. Students aren’t able to tell where the line ends during the busy lunch and dinner hours. Another issue is the placement of the pickup window. It was built into the wall in front of the kitchen, which is initially a good idea for fast service, but it happens to be placed beside the kiosks. This causes it to be difficult for students to easily access the window when the lines are long because the students in line block the window.

Besides trying to figure out who’s in line and who’s just waiting on food, and having to squeeze by a few students to pick up an order, the service is fast and efficient, even when it is busy. The variety of food on the menu is excellent and it all tastes delicious. It’s a great place to grab coffee or a quick snack between classes or before practice.

The hours of operation are: Monday-Thursday 10:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m., Friday 10:30 a.m. -4:00 p.m., Saturday 4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., and Sunday 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.