By: Danielle Denenberg Special to the Chronicle
As individuals enter the Student Center from the north side of campus, one of the first sights they see is a long line of students eagerly waiting in line in front of Sbarro. While sitting in the dining hall, it is quite common to see students settling down at a table with large, hot slices of pizza or steaming plates of pasta in front of them.
Although a pizzeria has been located in this area of the Student Center for as long as most current students can remember, this fall semester marks the first time since 2007 that the franchise has been a Sbarro. Most recently that pizzeria was California Pizza Kitchen (CPK), which also normally had a long line of eager students waiting in line to order.
According to Crystal Samuel, the marketing manager for dining services, CPK had decided it would no longer serve its pizza in schools and the switch was therefore inevitable. The idea was that CPK would definitely be replaced by another pizza place, and the decision of which pizza service to choose was entirely student-based. Last year the Chronicle reported that 2845 students participated in a survey to decide on the new service, and 36.15 percent chose Sbarro. Samuel also reported that, for the most part, students seem to be enjoying the new eatery.
“According to social media, there is a positive response,” Samuel said.
Senior David Berman appears to be no exception to the positive response.
“Sbarro is cheaper, has better-tasting food, fresher food and the pizza is more New York-style. At CPK, you [could] only order a pie, whereas at Sbarro you can order just a slice. Because it’s only a slice, it’s faster. I would wait [a] half hour for my food at CPK.”
Samuel said that Berman is just one of many students who are pleased with the switch. According to her sales figures, Sbarro appears to be more successful than CPK.
Berman also believes that the switch from CPK to Sbarro benefits students financially.
“The combo at Sbarro is $6.99, and includes two super slices and a medium fountain drink. If you only get a slice, it’s $3.30. At CPK, you [paid] separately for a drink, and it was $5.99 for a small pie, so it was around $9.50 for a large,” said Berman.
Despite Samuel’s claims of positive student feedback regarding the switch, not every student is as enthusiastic.
“Having eaten at both establishments, I find myself disappointed by Sbarro’s menu. I thoroughly enjoyed the pastas offered by CPK and wish Sbarro offered comparable pasta options,” said senior Eitam Miron. “
Graduate student Maria Katsanos added that she believes the pizza at Sbarro isn’t “real pizza.”
Meanwhile, Samuel said that University dining services is satisfied with the change.
“It’s always good to give students a say. This is your dining hall – since you picked it I think it’s a great idea. In the end, you are the ones who are supposed to be happy,” said Samuel.