Eat, study, relax

Tyler Plummer

After a series of changes to the Titan Food Court, a new director of food services ensures there will be a few more, including updated payment methods, and a quieter dining room.

“I have to try to think of what the student needs from top to bottom and also non-tangible resources that they wouldn’t really expect. A quiet place to study, good food to put in their system that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. So that’s what we’re attempting to do all the time, making sure the students are taken care of.”

As the new dean of culinary services, Mathew Kline has big plans for food quality and the atmosphere of the Titan Food Court.

“That’s what we’re trying to make this place. Like the students’ living room. They can come in, they can get something, they can sit down and put on Netflix, or do some studying,” Kline said.

First year Lane student Keidren Johnson gets breakfast in the food court multiple times a week and wishes the burritos were a little bigger.

“They’re good and the price is right, but for a big boy like me, I always have to get two or I’ll still be hungry,” said Johnson. He also mentioned wishing they had some music playing as background noise, which Kline coincidentally touched on.

“We’re going to try to get some music in here, we’re going to try to make it a more inviting space,” Kline said.

Lane student Georgia Harter wishes there were more available seats during the busy hours.

“A lot of the times one person will take up a four-person table, and there won’t be anywhere to sit,”  Harter said.

Every day Kline has to deal with the unforeseen challenges of running a student-driven food court.

“Say someone forgets to order garlic, or the produce vendor forgets to bring carrots, or whatever it may be, you run into operational errors like that on a daily basis,” said Kline.

Kline and his team are also working on updating the way students pay for their meals.

“We got a new POS [point of sale] system that’s up and rolling and that’s actually made things a lot faster and more efficient,” he said. Kline anticipates the addition of chip readers, and electronic payment methods such as Apple Pay and Google wallet, to the Titan Food Court in the near future.