In time for the start of the fall semester, the South City bodega has reopened after almost a year of closure due to labor shortages brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Taher, Salt Lake Community College’s contracted on-campus food operator, now offers additional menu items and a new automated self-checkout, where students can pay and order their food from anywhere in advance. Students can enjoy hot, fresh food served from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Fridays.
Joe Martinez, chef manager at the South City bodega, said the future of on-campus dining is promising.
“We’re positive we are going to stay open,” Martinez said. “We have enough traffic coming on through here, lots of visitors, and we are happy to serve you guys.”
Chef Matt Quist, a corporate chef from Taher’s headquarters in Minneapolis who is temporarily stationed at SLCC to help with the reopening, said Taher is ready for its return despite the trickling consequences of the pandemic, such as difficulty finding hourly employees.
The new self-checkout service helps not only with the labor shortage, Quist said, but it also makes the process of ordering food quick and smooth for students.
“You are going to be able to order with your phone, or you can come down here and order at the kiosk,” Quist said. “You can be in the parking lot on break and […] order for later.”
Quist added that self-checkout has been operating smoothly since its introduction last week.
Pizza by the slice, desserts, coffee, chicken tender and fries, paninis and more will be prepared in-house and served daily. Martinez will run kitchen operations and is eager to meet the faces of the students he’ll be serving.
“I’m just happy to be here, happy to serve you guys,” Martinez said. “Stop by and visit us, I’m happy to take care of you guys.”
In addition to the bodega’s reopening, Taher has also resumed catering orders for events on campus. The food operator looks forward to what is expected to be a bustling time at the college.