A student crosses her arms and shrugs in vehement exasperation. In front of her, eight other students stand with the same look of disgust on their faces.
“All I want is a stupid cup of coffee,” a student moans.
“They just changed the filter, it won’t be ready for another 10 minutes.”
This scene is all too familiar for many USF students trying to get their morning coffee from the cafeteria during the pre-class rush hour. However, the complaints don’t stop with morning coffee—students and faculty have raised concerns that the only place to purchase food on the main campus is in the cafeteria, which can entail a lengthy stroll followed by an even lengthier checkout line to wait in.
In an effort to make things more convenient for the USF community, Bon Appétit has extended their market café in the form of a food truck on Gleeson Plaza.
Since its recent installation, the truck has caused some confusion around the USF community. The truck debuted in a sleek matte-black form, only to be replaced with a picnic cloth pattern crawling with cartoon ants.
Holly Winslow, resident district manager of Bon Appétit, assures that this cartoonish design is only temporary: “We ordered [the truck] in August, but it’s still being built. The new one will be here on Monday (Sept. 10th) permanently.” The matte-black design is accentuated with the Bon Appétit logo, a simple design that environmental studies student Nick Oeffinger prefers. “I like the look of the matte-black design—it gives it a pseudo-European look which is rad,” he said.
Although the look of the truck is settled, its name has yet to be decided. Menu signs on the truck are calling it “The Mobile Mercantile,” but some call it the “Dub Box,” “the coffee cart,” or “the campus food truck.”
Many students have yet to purchase items from the truck. “I haven’t been to it, but it makes the square look cooler. Maybe if I’m late to class and can’t make it to the cafeteria, I can grab a coffee from [the truck] one day,” said senior nursing student Monica Cruz.
Currently, the truck offers the USF community a range of on-the-go options without having to wait in line at the main cafeteria. In addition to multiple carafes of coffee, there are pastries, grab-and-go salads and sandwiches, chips, candies, and fresh fruit.
Because of its location, the truck has become a convenient option for Fromm Institute students to grab a bite between classes. This is a strategic plan to reduce rush hour crowds in the main cafeteria, according to Winslow. “Because the coffee cart facilitates Fromm students, it essentially allows for more space in the café for other USF students,” she said.
Since the future of the truck is open for improvement, the voice of the consumer is heavily weighted. “The coffee cart has so much potential, it just really depends on the demand. It allows us one more outlet as [Bon Appétit] continues to grow,” said Winslow.
As of now, the truck is open from 7:30 a.m. — 2:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Jamar Tall, the supervisor of the truck, stresses that if people have something they want to see from the truck, they should voice their desires. “We really are open to taking suggestions from people. The Fromm students asked for soymilk and dark chocolate candies, so now we try to have those on hand. If people ask, we are listening, and we will do what we can to make it happen,” he said.
If you have an idea for how you wish to see the truck grow, stop by and tell Jamar, or submit a comment to http://usf.cafebonappetit.com.