By: Katie Krahulik
As part of a major shift in the dining experience at Hofstra University, a recently negotiated dining contract includes a Smashburger which formally opened its doors to the community on Saturday, Sept. 2.
The new fast food chain located in Hofstra USA (HofUSA) is considered an upgrade to many. With a new menu and interior, the eatery is almost unrecognizable.
“The food was awesome and I think it’s a huge step up from HofUSA,” said Matt Cosciello, a junior biology major.
The Campus Dining Review Committee worked closely with the Student Government Association (SGA) to learn what students want to see in their dining halls. Factors brought to the table were lower prices, healthier accommodations, longer hours of operation and vegetarian, kosher, halal and gluten-free options. SGA Vice President Abby Normandin, a junior public policy major, said “Hofstra’s Student Government Association had a wonderful opportunity last semester to participate on the Campus Dining Selection Committee. This committee was comprised of both students and administrators in order to hear students’ perspectives on possible changes to dining on campus. We are continuously grateful for the willingness of Hofstra administrators to hear student voices when large-scale changes are being proposed on campus.”
Colin Sullivan, the Director of Communication for Student Affairs, explained that the motive behind adding a Smashburger was to cater to the atmosphere. “We look to provide students with new and exciting options. HofUSA has always been a more relaxed late-night venue and we thought Smashburger’s menu and the venue design would work well for how our students use the space.”
Izzy Falkovich, a junior public relations major, is excited for the new addition. “It was very strange to see just how different the interior of the building was because it looks nothing like it did a year ago.”
Students from SGA, Orientation Leaders and tour guides who work in admissions were invited to attend the Smashburger ‘dry run,’ where employees offered a taste-testing to a small crowd of students.
“My only complaint would be the fact that they got rid of the buzzer system, so I’m curious as to how they’re going to control the large crowds,” Falkovich said.
Cosciello said that the lack of a buzzer system also bothered him. “It gets extremely crowded and everyone is waiting for their names to be called. They can’t just sit down and wait for their food to be ready,” he said.
However, with extensive burger options including a build-your-own-burger and a number of signature sandwiches, Smashburger is peaking interest among students on campus. Specialty burgers include gourmet choices such as truffle mushroom swiss, spicy jalapeno raja and spinach, cucumber and goat cheese. In addition, they offer fresh salads, shakes and malts, as well as an array of sides.
Corey Oliver, a junior TV major, was a big fan of the savory burger and fries and agrees that it was an improvement from HofUSA’s food in terms of flavor, but he said it’s a step down in terms of healthy options.
Others voiced concerns about the health risks of a Smashburger on campus. With high calorie intakes, some students prefer not to go at all.
Samy DeBellis, a senior speech language pathology major, is one of those students. “I just feel like it’ll taste really good, but I don’t know how often I’ll go because there isn’t as big of a variety of healthy options as I thought it would be.”
Senior English major Greg Lofaro said, “I think it’s a fun new addition … I enjoyed it a lot and I’m sure most students will as well.”