Hofstra USA replaces Smashburger after a year
The newly revamped Hofstra USA opened its doors to eager students on Sept. 1. Photo Courtesy of James Factora / Hofstra Chronicle
Following negative feedback from students, Smashburger closed its doors, welcoming back the popular late night eatery, Hofstra USA (HofUSA). The newly revamped restaurant reopened on Saturday, Sept. 1. Despite an updated menu, some students are complaining of long lines and what students are calling an ineffective ordering system.
“There’s a lot of congestion around the counter where the food is being brought out. They don’t have any sort of speaker system, so it’s really loud and very overwhelming. – just not a great environment,” said junior psychology Arianna Buchholz. “The service could be better if they brought back the buzzers.”
The original HofUSA design included a buzzer system, alerting students when their orders were ready. However, the alert system disappeared from the restaurant when Smashburger opened in fall 2017.
“It’s the same efficiency as Smashburger, which is terrible. One thing that could improve this is [to] bring back the buzzers,” said senior Corey Oliver, a television production major.
Following Smashburger’s opening last September, students said they missed the former eatery. The burger joint closed in spring 2018 and construction to bring back HofUSA, a diner-style restaurant, commenced.
SGA president, senior public policy and global studies major, Abby Normandin explained the
process of bringing back HofUSA. “We did an online social media campaign with the hashtag ‘#myHofUSA’ and we got over 400 students to give feedback about what menu they wanted to see,” Normandin said.
The new menu, designed by SGA, includes more vegan and vegetarian options based on student feedback.
“A lot of the old menu is what students wanted to see and with some new healthy options as well,” Normandin said.
However, the new HofUSA menu has received mixed reviews as well. While students do enjoy the variety and options, some feel underwhelmed by the quality and price of the food.
“I ordered the buffalo chicken wrap a while ago and they did not put the buffalo chicken sauce in that wrap. I’m not getting what I’m paying for basically,” Buchholz said.
Senior drama production major Danny Stafford is glad to see that the milkshakes stayed on as part of the menu. “So far, I’ve only had the milkshakes, which are pretty decent,” Stafford said.
SGA and Compass Group are working together and listening to student feedback on the recent renovation.
“SGA has already asked us to work with them on creating a new process for anything new that would come in the future,” said Lisa Ospitale, district marketing director of Compass Group at Hofstra who said Compass would review it together with students.
“We’re very excited that it happened, but I am also aware that it’s not perfect yet,” Normandin said regarding the current state of HofUSA. “The next step is making sure the experience there is what students want it to be.”