Crowds still plague Food Court; A year after opening, Dining Services adds menu items

by Sung Eun Choi | 11/9/93 6:00am

Last fall, Dartmouth Dining Services opened the new Food Court in an effort to ease overcrowding in dining facilities and to increase the variety of food offered at the College.

Dining Services created Food Court in anticipation of the closing of the Collis Cafe and because of the lack of patronage at Full Fare.

Food Court was created through a game of musical dining rooms. It is located in the room that was formerly Full Fare. Full Fare moved to the area that used to be Home Plate, and Home Plate moved into the space that was previously occupied by the now-defunct A La Carte.

But many students said the room shuffle has not solved overcrowding.

"It gets so crowded at Food Court," Kathryn Chiong '94 said. "The food is tastier there, but to avoid crowds, I eat at the Hop."

Dining Services administrators said nothing could be done to completely alleviate the overcrowding.

"There is and always will be overcrowding at certain hours of the day, like when classes end," said Tucker Rossiter, the DDS associate director. "With the limited space we have, there is just so much we can do."

"But Food Court does have many unique features that have made it a successful dining facility," he added.

Food Court provides students with a variety of food, longer hours of operation and daily specials which the other dining facilities at Thayer Hall do not provide, Rossiter said.

"Dartmouth students are always in a rush, and they have other things to take care of," Food Court Manager Beth Jones said. "We try to provide them with fast service and excellent food."

Despite limited space, DDS is currently looking into different ways to improve the situation. For example, to fully take advantage of Food Court's space, DDS may purchase new chairs which would provide space for additional seating.

DDS administrators said they can do little about overcrowding, so they focus on improving the quality and variety of foods offered to the students.

"We try our best to give students the best quality," said Harold Mossey, manager of the Food Court grill. "I invented the Harold burger. It's six ounces of fresh ground meat and it's delicious."

DDS administrators said prices at Food Court are higher because the quality of the food has improved.

"We've introduced many new products and experimented on new machines for coffee and a hot dog grill," Rossiter said. "Maintenance of the facility and the quality of the food is funded by the students who eat here."

Jones said comment cards are available so students can provide input about what can be done to make dining at Food Court a more pleasurable experience.