Work is underway to bring a new way of dining to students at the University of Northern Iowa. U-N-I is renovating one of its main dining centers to offer “made to order” meals. That means students can walk in, order a sub or burger just the way they want it, and watch it being cooked up while they wait. Mona Milius, the associate director of dining services at the Cedar Falls school, says the change allows them to compete with off-campus food providers for students who’ve grown up on fast food. She says students have grown accustomed to being able to order the food they want and have it delivered immediately.The new service will cost the same as the old “take what they make” meal plan. And Millius says students from any U-N-I dining center can eat at the new facility in Redeker Hall, which could end up serving two thousand students each day. Millius says making individual meals creates a challenge of knowing how much food to have on hand. She says they’ll use a computer system to forecast how much food to make. Millius says it’s also going to be a challenge for cooks who’ve been used to working behind the scenes. They’ll now be watched by students as they cook individual meals. Millius says they’re training cooks to work the made to order stations and deal with being face-to-face with students.The renovation of the facility is expected to be completed by the time classes begin this fall.
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