After extensive renovations to the Kansas State Student Union food court, Chick-fil-A will open on Feb. 1, said Jeff Clark, assistant director of retail services at the Union.
The new restaurant will be considerably larger than the last Chic-fil-A that was in the Union. It will be five times the size of the previous one, Clark said, which will mean more menu options for students.
“There’s going to be a lot more service and a lot more menu items,” Clark said. “We’ve added breakfast, spicy chicken, milkshakes, frozen lemonades and coffees. It’s expanded menus and expanded service.”
Clark said the new Chick-fil-A will employ about 30 students. A team from Chick-fil-A’s corporate office will train the students during the next few weeks.
“We couldn’t open right away this semester, and the reason for that was we had to wait for students to come back on campus for training,” Clark said. “That training will start next week, and we’ll be looking to open on Feb. 1. During training, we’ll even be doing sampling for people, so students should definitely keep an eye out for that.”
Previously, Chick-fil-A had been operated by Sodexo, but after the termination of their contract in December of 2015, the Union decided to directly operate and license the new Chick-fil-A restaurant, Audrey Taggart-Kagdis, Union director of marketing and community relations, said.
“Any proceeds that come in go back to supporting the Union for students, which includes the staff, students and the program council,” Taggart-Kagdis said.
Clark said Chick-fil-A is consistently a popular Union restaurant among students.
“Through a survey, Chick-fil-A was voted one of the top restaurants that the students wanted to see back at the Union, so they’re back,” Clark said. “Everything is centered around students and their feedback.”
During the lunch rush Tuesday afternoon, students largely repeated that sentiment.
“They’ve got the best chicken,” Cre Moore, junior in software engineering, said. “They may not be open, but they can’t be beat. I’ll probably eat there every Tuesday and Thursday between classes.”
Mackenzie Tolbert, a sophomore in pre-veterinary science, said she eats at the Union every day and considers Chick-fil-A to be one of the most popular restaurants in the Union.
“The Union will probably be a lot more busy once (Chick-fil-A) opens,” Tolbert said. “Pretty much everyone I know loves Chick-fil-A.”
Other restaurants are set to open at the Union later this year. Union Station, a sports pub and grill, is set to open next fall. Construction is also ongoing for a Radina’s Coffeehouse and Roastery and a Call Hall Ice Cream Shoppe.