New dining options on Salt Lake Community College campuses have been scaled down due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Taher’s Fresh Seasons Café planned to open multiple dining options on the Taylorsville Redwood, Miller, Jordan and South City campuses by the beginning of the fall 2020 semester, but the pandemic changed those plans, said Jason Talcott, Taher general manager.
“Because 70% of classes went online, we kind of really pared down our offerings and are basically trying to get through COVID without losing a bunch of money,” he said.
Taher, Inc. is a professional food service management company, which is taking over SLCC’s food services and catering at each of its campuses.
Currently, the food services company offers hot food dining options on the Redwood and Miller campuses. Talcott said Taher plans to open dining options at the Jordan and South City campus locations as well, although doesn’t have a set time frame.
“With COVID, I’m not going to commit to any solid dates,” he explained.
Recently, the Redwood Campus has been getting 70 to 100 transactions a day. Talcott said that the number of sales makes it worth staying open.
“[It’s] still a service that we provide to the college for both faculty and staff and students that are on campus now,” he said, noting the company also caters. “We’re looking for the long game; it’s a long-term commitment from Taher.”
Senthil Krishnamurthy, campus executive chef and SLCC adjunct instructor in French and Indian cuisine, said they’re taking safety seriously as well.
“We have put up barriers to protect ourselves and also the customers,” Krishnamurthy explained. “Every 30 minutes, the cashier will walk around and clean the major touch surfaces.”
Krishnamurthy explains the signs for masks and sanitizing stations, as well as noting they routinely wipe down high-traffic areas.
Staff, students and faculty on the Redwood Campus have said they feel safe eating food from Fresh Seasons Café, adding that the food is good. According to Talcott, future plans include a coffee shop and self-service market at the Jordan campus, a full cafe at South City and a fully opened food court at Redwood. The Miller Campus food court is currently open.
“Once COVID passes and things start opening up, it will be a much more lucrative account for Taher,” Talcott predicted.
Taher’s contract also covers concessions for the Lifetime Activities Center on the Redwood Campus and the baseball fields at Jordan Campus.
The tentative weekly schedule for food options at the Redwood Campus from Fresh Seasons Café features Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday, International Wednesday, Pizza Thursday and Chef’s Choice Friday.