Major changes ahead for MSC dining options

The Beef O’ Brady’s will be replaced by a full-service Chick-fil-A and new Bento Sushi option. ORACLE FILE PHOTO

It has been roughly six years since the dining options in the Marshall Student Center (MSC) food court have been changed or updated, according to the building’s Food Service Director Sean Hamad.

With current plans in the works, a large-scale rebranding will be taking place beginning at the end of the spring semester and will be fully operational by the fall.

Perhaps the largest change has to do with Chick-fil-A. Students, faculty and staff will have the opportunity to “eat mor chicken,” as the dining option will be moving out of the food court and into the current Beef O’ Brady’s space as a full-service location

According to Jessica Cicalese, the marketing director for Aramark, which oversees USF dining, this means that options like milkshakes and salads will be available for purchase at the location.

She also added that there is a strong potential to have Chick-fil-A breakfast options served in the morning, though it is not yet definitive.

“We are structuring the layout and equipment for us to be able to produce (Chick-fil-A breakfast),” Cicalese said.

Hamad added that Chick-fil-A will not be the only option in the existing Beefs space. Bento Sushi will also be joining the space and will offer options like sushi, ramen and poke. Beefs will be removed from the area, completely.

However, these are hardly the only expected changes.

Panera will be replacing Einstein Bros. Bagels in the MSC atrium and it will be a full-menu location as well, with items for breakfast, lunch and catering.

Papa John’s Pizza is expected to move into the existing Chick-fil-A space in the food court and a new salad-bar concept will be filling its spot.

Also, purchasing one’s food will now be done at each individual location, instead of at the front of the food court.

Cicalese said she and her team are looking to bring a “more innovative” experience to the MSC food court by having guest purchase their food at each location individually, instead of all together at the front like it currently is.

Tapingo mobile ordering will also be available for locations in the food court.

“It gets pretty crowded in there and we want it to be more easy to go get your lunch with the space to do so, so it feels less crowded,” Cicalese said.

Hamad added to this by saying the demand for dining options in the MSC has changed over time.

“The concepts have changed, but it is a 10-year-old building,” Hamad said. “The foot traffic has grown a lot, the university has grown a lot, the demand and the things the guest have to come to expect has changed. That is why we really want to include Tapingo mobile ordering and create a better, more efficient experience.”

With the construction happening primarily over the summer, Cicalese said that students who are on campus during this time and looking for a place to grab lunch will still have plenty of options.

“We are currently working through what is going to be officially open, but if we are going to take something offline, we are going to put something in its place,” Cicalese said. “We are going to make sure there are plenty of options for students over summer.”

There is no finalized cost for the project yet, according to Hamad.

The intent behind the remodel is to bring the MSC dining options up with the times, which will include digitized-menu boards, according to Cicalese.

“The overall idea for the project is to offer some even greater and more exciting options, bring some new concepts that we weren’t offering currently and just expanding on the brands we have,” Cicalese said.