By Josh Friedman || Contributing Writer
This year, F&M transitioned from Zime food services to Blue Line. Among this discussion is the question regarding if it benefits the student. For upperclassmen who had the opportunity to try both providers, the opinions appear to be mixed. There is definitely some benefit that was lost when the transition occurred, but it is impossible to deny the upsides to the new restaurant. It is for that reason that Blue Line should remain, but its business style needs improvement.
One of the most applicable reasons for choosing Zime as one’s dining option was the speed. One could walk in, order a simple item five minutes before class and feel nourished instead of starving through Econ 100 or any other course. “I think that the idea of Blueline sounded great, however having it on campus now it’s not what I expected,” junior Maggie said. “Blueline does not offer simple meals/ snacks that students need before class or before heading to the library.” The lack of options for the grab and go style of today’s student is less ideal.
There are a handful of ready made meals, but one must forget about speed if a meal at regular times is the plan. “The line is also super long, so if I wanted a quick coffee before class, forget it,” Maggie said. Students often witness lines leading out of the building during the lunch rush. A student with a 12:45 class doesn’t stand a chance of grabbing a quick bite there.
Proponents of the transition are far from scarce. The transition to Blue Line has also meant a step up in the quality of food prepared. “I love the transition,” sophomore Nithya said. “I think the coffee and the food are so much better than Zime, and there are more options, especially for vegetarians like me.” Blue Line is more accommodating for those with diet restrictions.
The higher quality of food and range of options at Blue Line does make it a more ideal lunch option. However, popularity is not always a good thing. “I’m not a fan of the long lines and the high prices of the foods (ex. the Buddha Bowl),” Nithya said. Money will always be a factor, and the “on the go” student may be led to forgo a meal when weighing the cost of both time and funds.
It appears consistent all around that Blue Line is a step in the right direction. The healthier alternatives to dining nearly anywhere else on campus are a hot commodity.
The quality of the food served is far superior to options at D-Hall. Blue Line faces a major conflict. In order to better accommodate the typical student, prices must decrease without forgoing quality. Size of the building it resides in is not malleable factor, but there must be a way to improve service time and alleviate the crowding situation. “So hopefully the lines get shorter throughout the semester and the prices change soon,” Nithya said.
Students do not wish to lose such a healthy alternative to the other options on campus. “I’m not saying I hate their food, but being a student with a busy schedule and always on the go, the idea of a sit down meal isn’t really practical,” Maggie said. If Blue line can find a means of alleviating these conflicts for students, then perhaps more students will select Blue Line as a favorable dining option, profits will increase and Blue Line will overtake the popularity that Zime once claimed.
For now, there is still much progress to be made and the choice of going to Blue Line for a healthy meal is being overshadowed by the opportunity to get quicker and cheaper, albeit less healthy food.
First-year Josh Friedman is a contributing writer. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.