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Construction for on-campus Chick-Fil-A set to be ready for mid-February

January 23, 2019

The long wait for Chick-Fil-A could be over as soon as Feb. 18 as the on-campus location is expected to be finished by mid-February

Chick-Fil-A will operate between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Russell Barrios, general manager of Sodexo, said Chick-Fil-A’s arrival on campus will generate a lot of excitement amongst students and raise enrollment.

The idea of a Chick-Fil-A on campus started when students brought the idea to campus administration. Barrios said the project has been in the works for about two-and-a-half years.

Brenda Haskins, executive director of auxiliary services, said that there were talk of a number of different brands, but Chick-Fil-A is the number one campus brand in the United States.

Haskins said, “If we were going to bring a brand, we wanted one that would be popular, that could help drive enrollment, and student satisfaction.”

Barrios said student government played a big roll in Chick-Fil-A’s arrival to campus. Over the course of the last four semesters, surveys were also given to see which brand would be popular amongst students. The student body played a major part in the decision for Chick-Fil-A to be a part of the campus community.

Both Haskins and Barrios said they know how important it is that the Chick-Fil-A run efficiently.

Barrios said, “Our challenge is going to be to get people out efficiently, because Chick-Fil-A is well known for their customer service and speed of service”.

To make sure the Chick-Fil-A runs as smoothly as possible, Barrios hired two managers from the Houma Chick-Fil-A location. The newly hired managers just attended a two-week training session, and Barrios himself went to a two-day training session.

Chick-Fil-A will also have an impact on student employment. The hiring process is almost complete and training for employees will start as soon as Feb. 4 and as late as Feb. 11.

“25 of the 40 workers they plan to hire will be student workers,” Barrios said.

Terry Braud, the vice president for finances and administration, said that the project will not cost Nicholls any money. Sodexo has money set aside for replacement equipment as well as a capital investment that were used to fund the project. The Chick-Fil-A will bring a positive impact to university funds.

When asked about the impact Chick-Fil-A will have on campus, Braud said that students who live on campus will no longer have to drive to Houma to visit Chick-Fil-A, because there will be one within walking distance.

The community and students can expect Chick-Fil- A quality at the on-campus location.

“This is a Chick-Fil-A, it’s not going to be Sodexo with a Chick-Fil-A uniform on,” Braud said.

Students will be able to purchase their favorite Chick-Fil-A items on campus and expect the same results. The menu will not look much different than the Chick-Fil-A menu at the Houma location, except for the removal of a few items that are not thought to sell as well at a smaller location.

Students with a meal plan will be able to purchase food with munch money and munch money plus. For students who do not have a meal plan, colonel cash will be an acceptable form of payment.

Craig Jaccuzzo, chief of university police, does expect there to be an influx of traffic once the Chick-Fil-A opens.

Jaccuzzo said that 65 parking spaces have been dedicated to Chick-Fil-A to try and help the situation.

Jaccuzzo said the most important part of the process will be educating the community on the flow on traffic. Right now, university police expect to see a backup of traffic on Audubon Ave and the intersection by Ayo hall. The top priority for Jaccuzzo is Nicholls and making sure that the public is aware of pedestrian foot traffic.

“It is going to be our priority to educate the public that when you drive here you drive slow, you pay attention because we do walk our streets, and that our crosswalks and our students come first,” Jaccuzzo said.

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