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Goldstein Food Court renovation reflects changing tastes, lifestyles
Before the beginning of the Fall 2003 semester, Syracuse University’s Goldstein Food Court on South Campus underwent a major renovation, with the goal of updating the area to reflect the changing lifestyles of customers. This means more healthy food selections, grab-and-go items, freshly made selections, plus and other food concepts including Sbarro, Jump Asian Cuisine, Burger King, Sal’s Birdland, Dunkin’ Donuts, Freshens Smoothie, Soup & Salad, Taste Buds Deli and a Fresh Market.
Planning began in fall 2002 when Syracuse University Food Services Director David George was challenged with designing a space that would create a logical flow for patrons and minimize conflict points.
According to George, “the concept selection maximizes the potential for sales because each concept specializes in different meal periods. For example, breakfast patrons may choose Dunkin’ Donuts; lunch needs are served by Burger King, Sbarro, and soup, salad and deli selections; snackers can choose a Freshens Smoothie; and dinner patrons have Sal’s Birdland, Jump Asian Cuisine, hot entrees, and soups and salads. This facility is also the home of our late-night Campus Delivery food service.” The new layout also allows food items including the seasoned chicken wings of Sal’s and Jump’s cooked-to-order noodle dishes to be prepared in-place.
George says that the new layout’s flexibility is among the most important benefits of the renovation. “SU operated concepts like Taste Buds, a deli/grill concept, have changing menus coupled with a back kitchen to lend support. The Fresh Market will also support new trends by providing space for our grab-and-go customers.”
Food Services also renovated to change the cluttered feel of the old customer layout by creating a more modern and inviting space, taking advantage of the area’s irregular geometry by placing service areas around the perimeter and leaving the middle open for customer flow. The new raised food court is clearly viewed from the main entry, where customers are led into the space through new glass doors. Tile and solid surfacing define each space while neutral piers separate each venue, as in mall food courts. Materials are enduring and upscale, including the solid maple ceiling set into an aluminum grid and counter faces constructed in tile or maple-trimmed metal. Bright, white fiber optic lighting is used to maximize food’s appeal, and spaces are brightly lit with an updated color palette.
According to George, customer reaction to the renovation has been extremely positive. During the first week of business, sales have increased 46% and continue to grow. Manager Lisa Kesel says her favorite reactions are those from returning students who stand at the doorway, stunned. According to Kesel, students’ “wows” are a good indication that Food Services has met its renovation goals.