The new Starbucks kiosk opened in Weber State University’s Tracy Hall building on Jan. 17 and will run from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m Monday to Friday.
The new Starbucks is full-service, which includes everything a Starbucks down the street would offer. All the cold and hot drinks, food, snacks and retail items are available at the newly-opened location.
One of the benefits to students who purchase from the on-campus location is using their dining dollars to pay for their food and drink. When a student loads $25 worth of Dining Dollars onto their Wildcard, they are automatically credited an extra $5, and purchases are tax free.
Sodexo Retail Operations Manager Tyson Skeen hopes the new location will offer a chance for interaction among students during the school day.
“We are so stuck in our phones these days that Starbucks allows us to come in, put the phone aside and interact with each other and do that over good food,” Skeen said.
WSU renewed their five-year contract with the food service provider Sodexo in summer 2017. Among the items in the contract included moving the former Shepherd Union Starbucks kiosk to Tracy Hall and replacing the location with an Einstein’s Bagels.
According to Shepherd Union Director Molly Ward, who also oversees the vending contracts for the university, Tracy Hall was the ideal spot for the new Starbucks location because of its large space availability. Students in the building also have extended lab hours, and having to walk across campus to eat might not fit into their academic schedules.
“We know our science students come in early, they stay for long periods of time, and having something to eat or drink during that space is really helpful,” Ward said.
In addition to making locations more available, Ward said students also requested access to name brands and affordability. However, most name brands are reluctant to offer services to commuter schools like WSU because their menus would only be centered around lunch, making it difficult to profit.
Fortunately, brands like Starbucks and Einstein’s Bagels are more active during breakfast and lunch hours, which fits better into the lifestyle of Wildcats.
“We know we have a lot here in the Union, but we know it’s important for people to get food in other areas of campus. This was an opportunity to do that,” Ward said.