By Nina Benich, Staff Writer
A new menu has made its way onto the mobile ordering app: Melt Lab, Xavier Dining’s new
ghost kitchen, which includes three brand-new grilled cheese sandwiches.
Xavier’s culinary options have expanded across campus since last year, from the Hoff Dining Hall menu to GSC’s new additions. In particular, Melt Lab’s sandwiches can be ordered exclusively in-app and picked up from Burger 513’s counter.
Melt Lab menu options include the Caprese Grilled Cheese, which includes fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil, as well as the Grilled BBQ Pork Sandwich with smoked gouda and fried onion straws. Finally, the menu includes the “Lil Buffalo Sandwich” with chicken tenders covered in hot sauce, fresh mozzarella and ranch.
Melt Lab is one of three rotating ghost kitchens making its way through the Burger 513 menu this semester. The term “ghost kitchen” refers to a food service with a menu available primarily for online ordering purposes. Ghost kitchens have increased in popularity since the pandemic and are still in use on food delivery apps such as DoorDash.
Auxiliary Services Marketing Manager Em Daniels developed the idea for Melt Lab and its fellow ghost kitchens along with the Xavier Dining Services team.
“We’re going to have three rotating ghost kitchens to start out, so this is actually just the first of three,” Daniels says of future plans.
The second ghost kitchen will include an entirely new menu separate from Melt Lab.
“Melt Lab will go all the way until Labor Day; then we’re going to switch it up to ‘Not Your Average Pretzel’, which will be large soft pretzels and pretzel bites with various dipping sauces — the sweet kind, the savory kind and a mix.”
Finally, the third kitchen expands upon Burger 513’s various fry options, opening Sept. 19, according to Daniels.
“We will then switch to Fry Shack, including all our fry options that we have now at Burger 513, like the loaded fries, the chicken bacon ranch and the buffalo options. Then we’ll rotate back into having Melt Lab again.”
Daniels says that the idea of implementing a new and purely virtual kitchen was one inspired by student feedback. “It was really a team decision with our dining team. We knew that the students wanted more options and we looked into what we could do,” Daniels says.
“We knew that ghost kitchens were super popular. We looked at DoorDash and Uber Eats — half of these restaurants you see have a ghost kitchen, and it’s really cool. We thought, ‘Why don’t we do that for the students?’” Daniels asked.
Daniels says that students are always welcome to submit feedback about Xavier’s food options, ghost kitchens or otherwise, on the website Dine On Campus. “We’re always open to ideas and suggestions, and we’re always happy to make you guys happy.”
Melt Lab is only accessible on Xavier’s mobile ordering app and will be available until Labor Day. Feedback can be submitted at the link https://dineoncampus.com/xu/whats-on-the-menu.