By Harry Harwood ’20
Many people were pleasantly surprised to discover a newly minted snack bar in the student center when they came back to campus for the 2019/20 school year.
The snack bar opened up on Friday, September 6, 2019. The most essential reasoning for its opening is due to the P.O.’s new closing time. The treasured restaurant on campus that shares a space with the Post Office has changed its closing time from 3 P.M. to 2 P.M. and it has led to a new venue for food right outside of the dining hall. The new snack bar’s task is to provide P.O.-quality food throughout the academic day and give students a food option between the end of classes and when the dining hall opens at 5:15 PM.
The question of whether or not the snack bar will be successful is not yet determined. Many people are wondering a number of questions: will it save money? Will it be as good as the P.O.? Will it be a successful addition to our campus? After about two weeks since opening, the largest customer wave is after dinner from about 6:30 to 7:45, around closing time when people want to have food before study hall.
Most of the purchases consist of a singular, small item like a bag of candy that goes for about $3. However, keeping the snack bar open and running throughout the day is definitely a cheaper option than keeping the P.O. open for an extra hour. The P.O. is a complete functioning restaurant that requires at least three employees and has both take-out and dining-in options, while the snack bar only requires one employee and is attached to the dining hall which helps cut costs.
Buckley Huffstetler ‘20, says that he has acknowledged the snack bar window in the student center throughout his three years at The Gunnery. “I thought that it was something that was in place before I came… I was really happy to see it’s getting some use, especially before I graduate.”
Constructive and optimistic criticism is also a common theme in the student body’s opinion. Jon Dyer-Gray ‘20, suggests “consistent hot food,” saying that the snack bar “would be making money…. Hot food all day would attract more people.” While some students are appreciating a new on-campus option for food outside of the dining hall, there are clearly some differing opinions.
All-around, the snack bar is saving the school money and providing students a food option between dinner’s closing and the start of study hall, however some Gunnery students believe the snack bar could be making more money with hot food that is served all day. This new aspect of The Gunnery will also hopefully attract more of the student body to the student center, all while saving the school money and adding a great source for food on the campus.