University, Frontera officials consider menu changes

Officials from the University and Frontera Fresco said they are considering adding to the restaurant's dessert options and introducing half portions of tortas, egg whites for breakfast tacos and discounted coffee refills to satisfy student needs. Northwestern is Frontera's first college campus location.

Susan Du/Daily Senior Staffer

Officials from the University and Frontera Fresco said they are considering adding to the restaurant's dessert options and introducing half portions of tortas, egg whites for breakfast tacos and discounted coffee refills to satisfy student needs. Northwestern is Frontera's first college campus location.

Adrianna Rodriguez, Reporter

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Officials from Northwestern and Frontera Fresco are looking into adjusting the restaurant’s menu more than two months after it opened in Norris University Center, its first location on a college campus.

Frontera is considering expanding the soft serve ice cream, dessert, and pastry part of the menu. Stacy Dixon, Frontera’s director of Development and Marketing, said this was the first time Frontera has made desserts a large part of the restaurant. Student input also has the restaurant considering price and portion changes.

Julie Payne-Kirchmeier, assistant vice president of student auxiliary services, said other recommendations to the Frontera team include a half torta option, egg whites for breakfast tacos and discounted coffee refills.

“Our students need change and we want to provide our students what they want,” Payne-Kirchmeier said. “It helps keep the content relevant and it’s a really neat time for Frontera to have an environment where they can test things and get immediate feedback.”

Dixon said the restaurant, which opened at the end of November, is always open to feedback.

“We are always open to suggestions from students, whether it comes from the University or directly to us,” Dixon said. “We are always interested in sampling the population.”

Although Frontera is not looking to make any immediate menu changes, Norris executive director Kelly Schaefer said the University and the restaurant are constantly talking about possibilities.

“The conversation is happening with Frontera and with students and us,” Schaefer said. “We are at the evaluation stage. Changes aren’t out of the realm of possibility.”

Payne-Kirchmeier said traffic and sales numbers indicate that Frontera is a strong food concept, but students still have complaints about the restaurant. McCormick sophomore Jonathan Feldman is particularly concerned about Frontera’s prices, which he said defeat the purpose of having a restaurant chain on campus.

“It’s awesome but the problem is that it’s not for students,” Feldman said. “It’s for visitors and for anyone who is coming to campus. It’s too expensive, and it’s one thing to throw on (the University’s) resume.”

Steve Mangan, resident district manager for nuCuisine, said that reduction in price will not compromise portion size or quality.

“That’s not what Frontera is about,” Mangan said.

Though conversations about changes are occurring between the University and the Frontera team, both parties are happy about the establishment of the restaurant on its first college campus.

“It’s been a really good thing for our brand to do,” Dixon said. “We enjoy who we are and it’s good to have a strong team between the University to really make this thing work.”

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