Kent State’s Dining Services Introduces Olilo by Cat Cora, All-You-Care-to-Eat Dining and Several Other Updates for Fall

Want to try out several dishes on campus without having to pay a la carte? Want to observe chefs prepare your meal from start to finish? How about on-campus access to healthy, Mediterranean, made-your-way meal options?

Beginning this fall, Kent State University’s Dining Services is introducing these and several other updates to enhance students’ on-campus dining experiences.

Kent Market I, located on the first floor of the Kent Student Center, is getting a new name and has been upgraded. Now known as the Golden Flash Bistro, it will feature Olilo by Cat Cora, renowned celebrity chef and first female Iron Chef. 

“The new Golden Flash Bistro will offer a fast, casual, health-focused, customizable, Mediterranean cuisine,” says Mike Mesenbrink, resident district manager for Kent State’s Dining Services. “We are entirely focused on students first, and believe these changes and updates will provide students with a better overall dining experience.”

All-You-Care-to-Eat Dining

Also, beginning this fall, Kent State University’s Dining Services is offering an all-you-care-to-eat dining option at three on-campus dining locations: Eastway Fresh Food Company (formerly known as Eastway Café), The Market (formerly known as Kent Market II) and Prentice Café. All three were renovated this summer and will offer a wide range of menu items. Additionally, diners at Eastway Fresh Food Company will be able to observe the meal preparation process upfront.

The Market, on the second floor of the Kent Student Center, was renovated this summer and will serve a wide range of menu items.

Kent State faculty and staff can dine at any of the three all-you-care-to-eat dining halls. Faculty and staff can use cash or credit to pay the door rate to enter. The cost for breakfast is $8.50, lunch is $10.50 and dinner is $12.50. Dining Services also will be offering an exclusive faculty and staff punch card at a cost of $42 for five meals into the all-you-care-to-eat dining halls. The punch card will be available for purchase in Eastway Fresh Food Company and will be good through the end of each semester.

“Eastway Fresh Food Company has been fully renovated and transformed into a beautiful new all-you-care-to-eat dining hall featuring fresh and seasonal menu items,” Mr. Mesenbrink says. “We essentially have brought the kitchens that were previously in the back and brought them up front so students can have a full dining experience where they will be able to see their food prepped and cooked at the stations right in front of them.”

Mr. Mesenbrink says that students will be proud of the new look and feel of the newly renovated dining locations, which integrates the Kent State brand.

Changes to Student Meal Plan

With the introduction of the all-you-care-to-eat dining option, the student meal plan structure will shift to a meal-swipe design. Students who select the gold or blue (all-access) plans will have unlimited meal swipes at the three all-you-care to-eat dining locations, which means that they can eat as many times as they want at these locations. The block meal plan option gives students a specific number of meal swipes to use throughout the semester.

“Both the all-access and block meal plans come with a certain amount of declining balance dollars, so students will still be able to use their meal plan at places like the HUB, Starbucks or the markets,” Mr. Mesenbrink says.

Mr. Mesenbrink says that all meal plans come with meal exchange and guest meals, which is an added bonus for students.

“These were added so that students can redeem a certain amount of meal swipes per day at Rosie's Diner, The CUE Express (formerly known as Olson Café) or Simon Café from a select set of menu offerings,” he says. “Guest meals are available so that students can treat a family member or a friend to a meal in one of the three all-you-care-to-eat dining halls.”

Mr. Mesenbrink says that Kent State’s Dining Services is incorporating feedback from students through its Voice of the Consumer program, where they can share ideas on the menu or brands they would like to have on campus.

Dining Services also plans to keep rotating its menu to “keep things fresh and exciting for students,” Mr. Mesenbrink says.

Learn more about Kent State’s Dining Services

UPDATED: Saturday, May 18, 2024 06:14 AM
Foluke Omosun