TECHIE MEETS CHIC. The Commons at Birch, a new retail and dining facility features electronic customer service enhancements.
There's a new high-tech convenience option on the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth campus.
The Commons at Birch includes several electronic elements designed to eliminate lines and decrease wait time for students.
The Webfood system allows students to view menus and convenience items from their personal computers as well as preorder their selections.
An onsite Webfood kiosk in the Commons allows students to place food orders and pay by swiping their student ID debit cards. Serving dual functions, the kiosk's flat-screen monitors display pictures of meal options while promoting dining specials as well as campus events.
Above and beyond the techie add on's, the facility features plenty of open space with contemporary, brightly colored dècor, a display kitchen, cafè-style booths and tables with bar stools.
There is even an outdoor pavilion and a lounge area with a 42-inch Plasma TV and comfy sofas.
"Our dining services program has come a long way over the past several years," says Jeffrey Augustine, director of campus services. "This facility not only increases our ability to accommodate the university's growing student population, but also makes their experience more convenient and friendly."
The Commons also houses several restaurants including Grill 155, Stacks Deli, Pep-a-Roni's pizza, Smart Market as well as a c-store.
Sodexho, Inc. is the food and facilities management service for the Umass campuses at Dartmouth and Boston.