What happened to the 586?
When students returned to campus this fall, they were surprised to find the popular 586 snack bar closed for the first two weeks of classes. When it finally opened, the entire menu had been gutted and the operating hours drastically reduced.
So far, many students say they are unhappy with the change — especially the loss of Starbucks drinks and hot items from the grill.
Hannah Radke, a freshman Journalism & Media Production major, was looking forward to Starbucks being available on campus.
"I visited in the spring, so, I came expecting there to be Starbucks. But, now I'm here and it's not available anymore,” she said.
Nick Sharpes, a junior accounting major, is also disappointed.
"It's a waste of space now. It was good. It's like a concession stand now. They took away 90 percent of the menu,” he said. “It’s not worth going anymore. Every time I think about it, I get sad."
Director of Business Services Steve Jenkins explained just what happened.
“We asked Pioneer Catering Services to run a cost analysis of the 586 and found that we were losing money,” he said. “And so [MVNU] took over management of it from Pioneer, hoping to reduce loss.”
This shift in management caused big changes in the menu, including the loss of Starbucks’ fresh-brewed coffee drinks.
“What we found was that the coffee drinks weren’t selling that well during the hours that we were open,” Jenkins said. “But through the new contract with Pepsi, we will be able to offer Starbucks bottled coffee drinks like Frappuccinos very soon.”
Another frustration to students is the limited items on the menu.
“This was another way to reduce costs,” said Jenkins. “We wanted to help students stretch their Road Bucks throughout the semester by offering lower-priced items, and items that take less time to prepare. This also reduces wait-times for orders, which was a complaint we had in the past.”
Weird Bread, soft pretzels with cheese, fried cheese sticks, and yogurt with fruit parfaits are all still available. Nachos and cheese were also added to the menu.
Drinks offered include several flavors of milkshakes and smoothies, 20 ounce Pepsi brand soft drinks and bottled water. Students can also purchase and brew a cup of coffee in a Keurig coffee maker.
“We are also able to offer other [novelty] items for cheap when we find them on sale, like Snickers ice cream bars for $1,” Jenkins said. “We buy them at a discount and sell them until they are gone.”
Jenkins said that even though they have taken out the grill, which means no hamburgers or quesadillas for now, that the reset doesn’t mean these menu items will be gone forever.
“Nothing is set in stone,” he said. “We basically started from scratch, and we can add back requested items and even try new [menu items] as well.”
The hours are open to eventual expansion as well. However, the 586 will not be open during any athletic events to avoid taking business from the Athletic Department’s concessions.
The 586 is also still looking to hire student workers, which could also help with adding hours to the schedule. If you want to apply, contact Steve Jenkins at Steven.Jenkins@mvnu.edu.