Upon returning to campus this semester, students may have been pleasantly surprised to find several updates to the Marketplace. According to Blake Milakis, director of dining services, the updates to the campus dining area range from visual to practical.
“We did a lot of updates,” he said. “There’s a graphic package that updated the stations we have inside of the Marketplace and added different graphics on the windows. We got all new display tables, a bunch of smallwear and some new stations that came with a lot of different menu changes.”
Although the Marketplace was outdated in its design, Milakis explained that the motivation for updating went deeper than that.
“This was a Chartwells investment that we wanted to make as a company,” he said. “We wanted to take the opportunity to invest a small amount in the space and at the same time give it some rebranding and give it a name. ‘Dine and Connect’ is just the concept of building community, and we really strive for that. That’s the idea behind it.”
Milakis explained that revamping the Marketplace has been months in the planning.
“We started planning this about six to seven months ago,” he said. “We’ve been looking at it for quite a while.”
According to Milakis, the updates will benefit students greatly.
“Hopefully as you walk through and dine here you get a sense of value from your meal plan,” he said. “Usually you eat with your eyes first, right? So it should hopefully boost the morale behind meal plans and campus dining in general.”
The updates to the Marketplace may be complete, but Milakis does not plan on stopping there.
“This is just one of many steps that we’re looking to take in the next few years,” he said. “It educates our customers on what we’re doing. We do a lot of things behind the scenes and we’re just trying to communicate that out so that students are aware.”