Gordon Avenue Market and Four Lakes Market dining halls switched to all-you-care-to-eat dining Sept. 10 due to food shortages on campus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The change comes as dining staff try to work through the industry-wide supply chain challenges. The switch was put in place in hopes of shortening the wait times while maintaining a large variety in menus and keeping a valued price, according to a University of Wisconsin newsletter.
According to the newsletter, resident meal prices at these locations will be $4.99 for breakfast, $5.99 for lunch and $6.99 for dinner. Non-resident prices will be $8.31 for breakfast, $9.98 for lunch and $11.65 for dinner.
Gordon’s and Four Lakes have adapted these flat rates to become a buffet-style in place of the a-la-carte option the dining halls have traditionally offered.
There are currently no changes planned for the other dining halls on campus, according to the newsletter.
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University Housing spokesperson Brendon Dybdahl said the change was unexpected but necessary due to long waiting times and unavailable menu items.
“The decision to make this change was not anticipated, but once our residents moved in, we found that long lines and staffing were affecting the students in a way that needed to be quickly remedied,” Dybdahl said in an email to The Badger Herald.
The new pricing model is consistent with the prices that are charged at Rheta’s Market, a dining hall that was buffet-style before the switch at Gordons and Four Lakes.
Dybdahl said there are still ways for students to have cost-effective meals such as Carson’s Market and Liz’s Market, ordering through GrubHub and an increase of grab-and-go options available in Flamingo Run convenience stores.
UW freshman Raines Lucas said that he doesn’t feel extremely affected by this change, though it can be unconventional at times when a full meal isn’t needed.
“I would say it’s not a major inconvenience, but I wouldn’t say I’ve heard anyone say they benefit [from the change],” Lucas said. “We’ve always had the option of Rheta’s for buffet-style and taking away the option of Gordon’s and Four Lakes, I don’t think it benefits anybody.”
Most of these changes are temporary, according to Dybdahl.
The entire food industry, however, continues to experience food and staff shortages due to COVID-19.
“As new staff is becoming more efficient every day, we anticipate longer than usual lines and wait times will be improved,” said Dydbahl. “We are continuing to do our best to improve things as quickly as possible.”