As the first signs of spring appear, many of us have seen some notable changes within the Lair, from new decor to a new and updated menu.
Last week, we saw the appearance of two pop-up spots: “Shrimp Boil” on Tuesday and “Malone Market” on Wednesday. This Monday, we were treated to chicken and waffles.
Now all these pop-up events have left many of us relatively confused as we all wonder what else there is to expect. What has been happening to the Lair?
To address the confusion and criticism against on-campus food, we reached out to Sodexo to find out what’s really going on with all the changes in the Lair.
Dana Massimiani—the director of operations for Sodexo—listed three of the biggest concerns received from student feedback including “food fatigue,” a lack of new selections and a lack of classic items/comfort foods.
After six months of similar items on the menu, the common reaction is food fatigue, which Massimiani said is one of the major things he has to pay attention to when making decisions.
He also addressed that his other goal is to “create an atmosphere that’s more conducive to a positive experience … [through] some positively reinforced messaging, so now when you walk in the Lair, it says ‘Smile,’ ‘It’s gonna be a great day!’ or ‘Welcome!’”
Joan Chang, Sodexo Unit Marketing Specialist, added that over the winter break, Bose speakers were installed into the dining spaces to dull out the lively bustle of the Lair and create a better ambiance to improve the overall experience.
Some other changes that were implemented include the added pop-up services, like themed meals and themed community tables. Inspired by the concept of the Boston Market, “Malone Market” is a once-a-week event.
Sprouts, once the vegan section, is now split into a part-vegan, part-non-vegan dining spot, serving more classic dishes such as tri-tip, mashed potatoes and mac n’ cheese.
Additional dishes that are being added to the standard list of items include vegetable paella and stuffed eggplants, straying away from the daily enchiladas and staple items at the vegan station.
Recently, the Lair installed new displays, including a mood board that lists featured items on the menu and an up-to-date calendar of all the food offerings for the month.
The color-changing mood board is by the condiments table in the center of the dining space and the added tablet is installed on the pillar between the two checkout locations in the Lair.
This calendar listing of the full menu is also accessible through the Bite by Sodexo app (access code on LMU dining social media).
In addition to the new decor and options, starting this month, the Lair provides seasonal fruits in addition to the usual produce.
Through the use of surveys, Massimiani and the rest of the staff are addressing other complaints, such as the opening of too many sandwich shops on campus, the fate of community table and how to provide efficient and quality service in the Lair.
Starting this month, the Lair is providing seasonal fruits (i.e. blueberries and strawberries) that will be available along with the existing selection of fresh produce.
Furthermore, until the end of the semester, Massimiani noted that there will be a new item added to the Lair menu every day, mostly in relation to the calendar and events pertaining to the specific date.
To make your voice heard, the Lair is now accepting feedback through their social media, direct text messaging system, website and an anonymous comment box at the entrance of the Lair.
This is the opinion of Sammi Su, a freshman marketing major from West Covina, CA. Tweet comments to @LALoyolan or email comments to email@example.com.