For students on Texas Tech University’s campus, food is a big deal. From salad to home style cooking, there are tons of options.
But, few people are truly aware of how these food options come to campus and why there are not certain types of food options that students often ask for.
Alan Cushman, manager and business developer for Texas Tech’s Hospitality Services, said, often, these food options take a lot of time and planning to get them here on campus.
He said they do take into account student feedback and work with organizations across campus to better understand the needs and wants for different food options. They also follow trends around the country as well as at other universities.
For instance, this past Student Government Association election, the Raiders Empowered bloc ran with an initiative to help incorporate new food chains, such as Whataburger and Chipotle, into the Student Union Building for students.
Unfortunately, this particular initiative is not very viable. Cushman said it often takes more than a year to get certain food chains, especially national brands, onto campus.
“It’s definitely not just an instantaneous thing and it would be great if it worked that way,” Cushman said. “It’s not like we are going to come in March and we’re going to decide, you know, we’re going to get a Whataburger on campus come Fall of 2017. It would be amazing if it worked that way, but it definitely doesn’t.”
While the food outlet planning is based a lot on trends as well as wants, Cushman said they also try and balance out the food outlets to give people healthier options. He said times have changed and they are having to think more and more about specific dietary needs such as gluten-free or vegan.
Tim Hays, a sophomore electronic media communication major, said the options on campus are pretty good, but there is one area that he still feels could be improved.
“I think the only thing they don’t offer as much as the other foods are the healthy foods,” Hays said. “ I think those are mostly side options. They offer a lot of fried food, a lot of potatoes, they offer all sorts of meats, but it’s the fruits and vegetables they don’t offer as much.”
He thinks this can contribute to people eating bad over and over again.
As for students who want more choices, there are countless food options right across the street from campus including Whataburger and Chipotle. And, according to Google maps, most are within a 12-minute walk from the Student Union Building.