Sub sandwiches are available for purchase in the lower level of GSC
By Jackson Hare, Education and Enrichment Coordinator
Since the opening of Jersey Mike’s this past fall, the lower atrium of Gallagher Student Center (GSC) has been buzzing with students salivating at the sight of sub sandwiches being crafted in front of them.
After being projected to open around fall break, staffing and construction permitting issues delayed Jersey Mike’s opening until they soft-launched on Dec. 5.
Bustling with lines of students accumulating in front of the sub shop during the lunch and dinner hours of the day, Senior Director of Auxiliary Services Bill Moran confirmed that Jersey Mike’s has seen some early success.
“It has been very successful. The sales are what we expected, so they’re very good and we’re thankful for that. Our next step now is trying to expand on the hours,” Moran said.
Currently open from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, Moran aims to expand Jersey Mike’s hours into the weekends and potentially reach the hours closer to that of Currito closing around 10 p.m. or 11 p.m. However, doing so would require them to resolve the lack of hourly associates.
“We had a retail manager leave the university in early December too, so we just filled that role. I think that slowed us down a little bit on being able to recruit those hourly associates,” Moran said.
“I think food services in general since the pandemic have this issue. It’s very challenging to find people, and we’re not immune to that. But we pay a very good rate, and I know it’s extremely competitive with places off campus,” he added.
Jersey Mike’s has brought new life and new opportunities into GSC. After previously working at Burger 513, sophomore international studies major and student employee at Jersey Mike’s Ana Cristina is excited about the opportunity Jersey Mike’s has to offer.
“I had never heard of Jersey Mike’s before it was added on campus, but it’s a good opportunity – new skills to add to my resume. The only challenge is I’m not used to having rush hours,” Cristina said.
While the abundance of students eating subs in GSC is a sign of success for Jersey Mike’s, it has also been indicative of student approval of the new food option on campus.
Sophomore criminal justice major Liam Weishaar said: “I really love it. Their sandwiches are good. They make it right in front of you, which I really love because then you know you’re getting fresh food. I think it’s a sign of good things to come for food on campus.”
However, some students are still dissatisfied with the lack of diversity of campus dining options and are hoping for more culturally diverse options after the removal of Fujisan.
“For me sandwiches, burgers and salads all fall in the same category,” Cristina said.
“I want variety on campus, which is why I liked Fujisan. We don’t necessarily have to add something Asian, but if we were, maybe like Bibibop or Panda Express, something to add variety to the food options on campus,” she continued.
Weishaar agrees, suggesting that the campus add a new dining location instead of replacing current options.
“If we have enough space for it, I think we could probably add something here, and maybe get some more culturally diverse food,” he expressed.
Meanwhile, Moran detailed potential directions for the future of campus dining, including exploring ghost kitchen options and food delivery.
Moran stated that they are currently investigating using campus food delivery robots that are being increasingly used at universities across the country to account for staffing issues while still providing food delivery services on campus.