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Saturday, November 28, 2020

Campus

UH Dining updates made for remaining fall semester


The Smart Market is a new take on a vending machine which offers almost all of the same things that students could purchase at a regular campus Market. | Sydney Rose/The Cougar

Smart Market is a new take on a vending machine which offers almost all of the same things that students could purchase at a regular campus Market. | Sydney Rose/The Cougar

UH Dining has worked on many projects this semester as well as implemented changes in the ways students get food on campus.

There have been halts of many food places on campus such as the food trucks, Student Center Satellite, Freshii, the Market inside of Cougar Woods Dining Commons and the most recent being the McDonalds inside of Student Center South.

“We closed McDonalds due to insufficient volume and transactions to sustain the business. We hope to reopen in the spring and will utilize the in-person class enrollment as our guide,” said senior director of Dining Services Charles Pereira.

Many students had no idea the McDonalds was closed for the remainder of the semester.

“UH should have made a clear announcement about the McDonalds in the Student Center being closed,” said finance senior Monali Patel.

Although UH Dining has ceased many services, they have implemented newer ones that fall under the demand for contactless options. After the closure of the Market inside of Cougar Woods, UH introduced a new concept called Smart Market. 

“We closed Cougar Woods Market to utilize it as a safety measure for associates working at Cougar Woods Dining, and with that closure guests at Cougar Place were no longer able to get convenience items within a short distance,” Pereira said.

Smart Market is a new take on a vending machine which offers almost all of the same things that students could purchase at a regular campus Market.

In addition, this machine takes Cougar Cash, credit and debit in Cougar Place.

The most recent project UH Dining has worked on is the new Market Next, located at the UH Technology Bridge.

“Market Next is a completely new and innovative technology that allows guests to check into the store via boost on their mobile device,” Pereira said. “Through AI technology guests can retrieve their items from the store and depart without any transaction process.” 

Students that have used Market Next did not find it to be close to the rest of campus, therefore inconvenient to them.

“The Market Next for me personally was a bit of a hike, I didn’t know where I was going, so overall it probably took me about an hour to walk there from campus,” said teaching and learning transfer student Elizabeth Collins.

“I think for those who are at Tech Bridge on a regular basis, it would be convenient but I didn’t even know that part of campus existed until I went so it wouldn’t be convenient for me.”

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