New ordering system and catering cards met with mixed reaction
By Ewan Kellie
photo courtesy of Ewan Kellie
Students returning to campus for the autumn term may have noticed some changes at the University food court, including a brand-new ordering system.
The RockSalt Food Court, located on the first floor of the Student Union Building, offers a variety menu with six different food outlets from Mexican street food to Asian cuisine. For a more discreet option there is always Los Pollos Hermanos, where crispy fried chicken is served with golden fries and a side of coleslaw. Over the years, the food court has been an essential outlet for students during lunch and breaks to grab a bite to eat. With the new term in session, some changes have been made, beginning with the most obvious one: a new ordering system aimed at giving students faster and more easy accessibility to the food court menu.
This has been met with challenges in regards to lunch time rush hour with lines flowing out of the food court and down the stairs at times. New undergraduate students provided with a catering card have found the self-checkout difficult to use, being restricted to using only one till with a very limited display, causing further problems with rush hour queues tailing back. “It’s been a frustrating start to the new term,” said Laura, a recent Erasmus student.
Another issue raised was the lack of food allergy and nutritional information being available on the machines, discouraging students from using the facilities. Many students that The Gaudie spoke to also found the menus from certain outlets such as Los Pollos Hermanos to lack diversity, with fries being the only option with every chicken sandwich. Other expressed concerns that not enough healthy options were available for purchase.
According to the University website, the RockSalt offers ‘a world of refreshments’ to students at affordable prices.
The website stated, ‘Salad boxes from £2.95 and handmade fresh pizza from £3.50 are just two of a tempting array of freshly prepared dishes from changed weekly menus, with over 50% of the selections being tasty vegan and vegetarian options.’
The University also announced that RockSalt Connect, a new online ordering app and loyalty programme, would be in place by Winter 2022.
While the self-checkout system has certainly improved the user experience, according to students who spoke to The Gaudie, there is still much to be desired and certain improvements will need to be made.