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Change in Zest and Den Hours: Voices Heard

Andrew Napolitano, ’12, Staff Writer

Zest, which opened last semester as part of a wave of facilities upgrades on campus, has changed its hours due to the response from the student body.

Jay Degioia, the manager of Sodexo, said, “We have listened to suggestions and are acting accordingly to the response from the students.” Numerous students have requested that the hours for Zest be altered to meet their need for Zest’s breakfast menu, which includes breakfast sandwiches and hot cups of cappuccino.

Zest is now open Monday through Friday between 8:30 and 11 a.m. for breakfast, then 11 a.m to 9 p.m. for lunch and dinner, and Sundays 3 to 9 p.m. It was formerly open until 1 a.m. on some days.

Some students are disappointed in the change of the café’s hours.

Alex Cultrera, a member of the junior class, said, “It was a colossal disappointment to learn of the change for Zest’s hours of operation. As someone who frequently visited Zest after midnight, I was very saddened to hear that I could no longer enjoy the luxury of late-night fine dining.”

Cultrera may be in the minority in regards to the altering of the hours, however; the hours of the café will stand until the student body speaks again, Degioia said.

Sodexo employees noticed the difference in morning sales compared to evening sales at Zest throughout the first semester, and changed the hours. Zest is now open earlier, while the Warriors’ Den is open later to fulfill students’ desire for late-night fried food. The Den is open until 11 p.m. Sunday to Wednesday and until 1 a.m. Thursday to Saturday. Degioia believes the changes will be well- received throughout the campus. He said, “We have exceeded our expectations in regards to sales.”

He believes a major factor to Zest’s positive start is the location, on the first floor of the McQuade Library.

In mid-February students will receive an email directing them to a website where they can provide feedback to Sodexo; those who complete the survey will be rewarded with a candy bar. Sodexo has already floated such ideas as having the Warriors’ Den deliver to student residences from Thursday to Sunday nights, with items from the menu at Augie’s Pub. The proposal called for student groups to deliver food, in exchange for 10 percent of the profits.

“We have had great success with students working for us at hockey games and believe we could have the same success at the Warriors Den,” he said. “It’s a win- win.”

If student groups are interested in starting this program up, they can contact Degioia or John Gallagher in the Student Involvement office.

“The campus is growing,” Degioia said, “and as the campus grows, we are going to grow with it.”

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