By Mackenzie Ullmer, Alyssa DeKeyser, & Indiana Schilz
Dining options on college campuses always seems to be a popular topic of discussion amongst college students. Several college campuses within the University of Wisconsin (UW) system, including UW-Whitewater and UW-River Falls, have a chain sub restaurant as a part of their dining options available to students. Some think UW-Green Bay should follow suit.
Current UWGB junior, Kendra Lepper, is a huge proponent of adding a chain sub shop to campus mainly because of added health benefits and ease of mind for students. Lepper states, “Even though we have Mondo Subs right now, certain ingredients are often unavailable. Having a chain restaurant instead would add the credibility of knowing the food will be good.”
Dr. Joseph Yoo, an Assistant Professor of Communication at UWGB, is another advocate for adding a chain sub shop or a different chain restaurant, like “Panda Express,” on campus. As someone who eats on campus 2-3 times per week, Dr. Yoo would love to see dining options diversify. He explains, “There should be diversity in selecting foods. While Cloud Commons offers high-quality food, more options could help with improved campus life for students. Also, I can use their take-out options to eat my sandwich in my office when I am busy or outside on campus when I want to enjoy the nice weather. Again, I wish our campus would host another sub sandwich and an Asian restaurant to increase the diversity in selecting meal options.”
Joe Hanrahan is UWGB’s Director of Dining Services and oversees all aspects of food service on campus. “My role is more administrative in nature, focusing on financials and long-term planning, where our management team is more hands-on in the day-to-day operations,” he explains. According to Hanrahan, the current dining options available to students at UWGB include The Marketplace (All You Care to Eat facility with multiple stations and a rotating menu), Green Bay Grill/Phoenix Phresh, Mondo Subs Common Grounds Coffee, and what used to be known as C-Store. Hanrahan points out, “We have tried to keep the offerings as robust as possible given the diminished campus population due to the ongoing pandemic.”
Hanrahan says it would be possible to bring a chain sub shop, like Erbert and Gerbert’s, to UWGB, but the logistics and financials must be considered first. “Nationally branded concepts bring additional fees and operating costs to our business that would have to be passed on in some way. What you would likely see is potentially a more limited menu with fewer options and less customization, potentially higher retail prices to students and fewer options from a transfer meal perspective.” Hanrahan continues, “A branded location would simply replace one of our current offerings, so the infrastructure is in place to execute it, but the brand has to bring a high level of value-added above our current offerings.”
For more information about the current dining options available to UWGB students, visit https://www.uwgb.edu/dining/.