Or Don’t Kill Two Birds with One Stone?

A missed opportunity to improve the Preserve’s efficiency

As the second week of the Preserve’s resurrection comes to a close, it’s pretty clear that despite a semester’s worth of renovations, nothing seems to have changed at all. Lsst semester, Emily Kressley reported for the Catalyst that the Preserve was to “expand their operations and install a kitchen hood for stovetops.” Even though the main focus of said renovation was in the kitchen, Bon Appétit stated that counters would be “more efficient” upon reopening.

While I waited for my personal pizza before sitting down to write this article, I would have never been able to tell that the Preserve had been closed since May. I do not mean this in the sense of, “Wow, I never would have been able to tell you just got your wisdom teeth out yesterday!” 

Even though I am certain the resolved problems in the kitchen have made work much safer and more enjoyable for Bon Appétit staff, I am slightly disappointed by management’s inability to change the flow of the Preserve that simply does not accommodate its daily influx.  In short, Bon Appétit did not take advantage of this past semester in order to improve the flow of the café.

It’s 12:17 p.m. on a Friday. There’s a weaving of pizza, sandwich, salad, and expo lines around the snack carts and out the door. Somewhere, in that mix, around 20 students wait at the cashier to pay and get a receipt to wait another 20 or so minutes for food. With no clear system set in place, students will continue to wait with no personal space, items will continue to get stolen, and lunch will remain a sometimes more stressful experience than it is worth.

There was an opportunity for the wall between the food and seating to be moved, for grab ‘n go to be rearranged, and the cashier station to be put somewhere else. But, still, this somewhat organized chaos will probably operate on the same borderline of efficiency until someone notices that the current layout of the café cannot support upwards of 30 students in each line inside a space where lines should be closer to seven.

I do not know if a rethinking of the Preserve’s layout was completely overlooked or actively decided against, but it is massively surprising to me that a semester of closed doors yielded a result that looks no different than it did in the spring, at least when considering the space dedicated for student and customer use. When Bon Appétit announced the Preserve’s reopening this semester, I may have been naïve to assume that everything would be seemingly different from the way it was.

And so, I begin my second semester of junior year with the same question I had my first week as first-year: why are the lines like this? Well, time may or may not tell, but it doesn’t seem like Bon Appétit minds the lines at all.

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