RU offers two new dining options
When Radford University students arrived for spring semester, they found a special surprise waiting: two new on-campus dining options.
Since opening in January, student acclaim for the new Hissho Sushi shop in the Hurlburt Student Center and the Dalton-to-Go kiosk in Dalton Hall has been loud and clear.
It's no surprise since both of these new dining concepts are the result of student voices being heard.
In a 2014 student forum with President Penelope W. Kyle and several Dining Services surveys, student feedback recommended changes to on-campus dining options.
Surveys indicated that Austin Grill, a Bonnie food shop, wasn't connecting with students and that there was a desire for a change in the Dalton Kitchen set-up. The administration swiftly responded to those calls.
"It was clear that students wanted a new concept in the Bonnie, that they wanted longer hours and they wanted a to-go option," said James Perkins, interim director of University Services. "We developed a plan that could move quickly forward."
The plan involved moving the Hissho sushi shop from Dalton to the Austin Grill location in the Bonnie. With the increased space, Hissho now offers hot meals as well as the cold sushi it used to serve exclusively.
The new Dalton-to-Go kiosk fit perfectly in the former Hissho space. It now offers extended hours and to-go options for RU meal plan holders. The same rotating menu items served in Dalton Kitchen are available hot and cold, even when the main kitchen is closed.
Work on both projects began in earnest as the fall 2014 semester drew to a close. After a busy winter break was spent preparing the space, both new dining options were ready for students as they arrived back on campus.
SGA President Colby Bender was pleased that the administration and Dining Services were so responsive to students. "It is absolutely incredible to hear that student concerns are being taken into serious consideration," Bender said.
According to Bender, proposals for changes in Dining Services, specifically concerning Dalton-to-Go, had strong, substantiated support from the SGA and the student body. He thinks it will prove to be a success on campus.
"I have heard some great things about the Dalton-to-Go option," Bender said. "I have tried it, and it is incredibly convenient and accommodating for students who are having busy days."
Hundreds of RU students have already experienced the dining options, and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, Perkins said. Dining Services plans to further gauge its success in spring dining surveys.
"It's really nice to have this now, " said Matt Wilson, a sophomore business student, of Dalton-to-Go. "This definitely helps with my schedule, and I've heard a lot of good things from friends as well."
Natalie Tacci, a freshman criminal justice major, and Madeline Periandri-Harelson, a freshman marketing major, have both enjoyed the new, improved Hissho.
"I like that you can customize your sushi now," Tacci said.
"And this is definitely better than some of the off-campus Chinese food options," Periandri-Harelson added.
Hissho Sushi is open Monday through Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., and Saturday and Sunday from noon – midnight.
Dalton-to-Go is open seven days a week, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Menu information can be found at the RU Dining Services Portal.