Brandon Cummings | The Poly Post

Long food lines disrupt students’ schedules

By Brandon Cummings and Daniel Tapia, Sept. 20, 2022

With the return of in-person instruction bringing more people to campus, students are finding themselves waiting in long lines trying to grab a bite to eat in between classes, causing some students to go hungry or make them late for class.

With each student having unique schedules, times like “U-Hour” when no classes are in session, gives students the opportunity to consume something. However, some students are skipping lunch because of how long lines can get during lunchtime.

“The long food lines have made it super difficult for me to get lunch between classes at every location,” said Quinn Gilbert, a physics major. “From the Marketplace to the Bronco Student Center, everything tends to be long.”

Currently Cal Poly Pomona, offers nearly 20 different dining options from restaurants to Starbucks and grab and go items from one of the markets their meals.

Some students try to avoid these long lines by ordering through Grub Hub. However, these mobile orders slow down the process not just for students in line, but for the employees making the food as well.

Sergio Milian, a computer engineering major, and off-campus food service worker, thinks the mobile food ordering apps are making the issue worse.

“I work in fast food, so I know that these mobile services just slow everything else down. These workers cannot just worry about the people in line, we must also worry about the online orders that in most cases never get picked up,” said Milian. “I would say to not allow the mobile orders because it just makes things harder. Wait times for these orders can be up to an hour because restaurants can have too many orders to get to before starting your online order.”

Brandon Cummings | The Poly Post

Whether a student waits in line or orders online, there seems to be no advantages to receiving food in a fair share of time. This leaves some students with no other option but to purchase pre-packaged food from the markets located on campus.

“The options we do have always have long lines. I am sure I have spent over thirty minutes in some of these lines before,” said Nijee Ferguson, a kinesiology major. “So, I honestly just avoid the lines and see what the markets on campus have available. Even then, the food there sometimes is gone, so I normally end up going back to class with a bunch of snacks and a Gatorade.”

The options that are available on campus are not enough to satisfy the students who wish to eat between classes. No matter when or how they choose to order their food, the constant trend of long lines still tends to be a campus issue for the students. In some cases, students risk losing their parking spot just so they can find food off campus.

“I commute to school, and we know how frustrating parking can be. I never want to leave school just for food if I do not have to,” said Nnamdi Uzor, nutrition major. “It is already sad coming to school hoping there are enough parking spaces available, but risk losing my spot just to get food when I should not really have to is just another level of frustration.”

Recommendations to the Foundation Dining Services on improvements to its dining services can be found through the feedback forum on the Foundation Dining Services website. There you can also find all the options CPP has to offer as well as their operating hours.


Feature image courtesy of Brandon Cummings

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