Food court, Schindigs close for semester

Schindigs and Maucker Union Food Court will remain empty for the spring semester as they close in response to reduced sales.

CAROLINE CHRISTENSEN, News Editor

The normally bustling Maucker Union Food Court and Schindigs in Schindler Education Center will not be reopening for students this semester, and hours and menu options at other dining retail locations will be reduced.

These changes come as a response to the coronavirus pandemic and reduced sales, according to Department of Residence retail manager Chris Kenaga.

“Like most universities, campus retail has been adversely affected by the pandemic, mostly due to the fact that there are less students, faculty, and staff on campus each day,” Kenaga said.

Compared to fall 2019, sales at the Maucker Union Food Courts for fall 2020 were down 75%.

The underutilization of TC’s Takeout, a meal-on-the-go service at 23rd Street Market available for all meal plan holders, has also prompted the closure of that meal plan alternative. Additionally, 23rd Street Market will be offering fewer options on their menu. 

TC’s Takeout was a service offered to reduce numbers in the dining centers, but Kenaga said it did not have enough participants to continue service.

“For this meal plan alternative to have an impact, we needed to serve 100-150 meal plan participants each lunch and dinner; this fall we were only serving 10-25,” he said. “Meal plan participants were not utilizing this service. Rather, they have taken advantage of the unlimited to-go meals from the dining centers; or choose to eat in Piazza and Rialto.’

The current plan is to reopen the Maucker Union Food Court in the fall of 2021.

“It is our hope that things will begin to shift back to normal this coming fall as more people get access to the vaccination and restrictions begin to lift, allowing for an increase in those coming to campus each day,” Kenaga said.

Student employees who worked at these locations have been given the opportunity to have the same hours and schedule at another campus dining location, and to pick up any additional hours if desired. 

Dining locations that will remain open include Chats and Essentials (with reduced hours), as well as 23rd Street Market, Biscotti’s and Book Bistro. The Cravings grab-and-go area within Essentials is also operating and will be offering more choices. For hours and more information, visit https://dor.uni.edu/dining/dining-hours.