Big changes are in place at the Selleck Food Court.
University Dining has long offered to-go options via dining centers, Husker Heroes and Herbie’s Market for students, faculty and staff needing to grab a quick bite, but now the dining area inside Selleck Quadrangle has been transformed into Selleck Food Court, with options ranging from breakfast to pasta, sushi and salad — and a familiar favorite, Qdoba. And, with convenience in mind, all orders are now prepared for taking them on the run.
Selleck’s patrons can also eat their food in the new dining area, which was remodeled to add welcoming and warm accommodations. Gone are the cafeteria-style round tables. Now, an open area boasts large high-top tables for bigger groups, and more traditional four- and eight-seat tables. Students can also venture into smaller, quieter areas where booths and small high-top tables in nooks and crannies offer a quieter place to study or talk while eating.
Riley Einspahr, a sophomore civil engineering major from Flower Mound, Texas, said Selleck has become her favorite spot for lunch on campus.
“I like the smaller areas — it’s not just one big room with tables and chairs — for when I want to work on some homework while I eat,” she said. “And I love Qdoba’s burrito bowls, so I get those pretty religiously.”
The new food court options are Cold Creations (smoothies and parfaits), Grains and Greens (salads, grain bowls and sushi), Pasta Buono, Scarlet Skillet (breakfast, which will offer all-day breakfast soon), Selleck Café (hot sandwiches, fries and sides) and Qdoba. Additionally, Moxie’s Gluten-Free Café opened over the summer, offering the campus community a completely gluten-free eating option.
“That’s a big thing to add to campus,” Gina Guernsey, manager of the Selleck Food Court, said. “Students that have to eat gluten-free to maintain good health are able to do it in a safe environment. We’ve always had gluten-free options, but this one is specifically designed and constructed, and separate, to be completely gluten-free.”
Moxie’s received rave reviews from Chase Tabor, a sophomore global studies major from Pyeongtaek, South Korea.
“This is the best pizza on campus,” he said. “The cauliflower and gluten-free crust are really good, and the veggie options are great.
“Plus, it’s really easy and convenient. I eat here almost every day.”
With a ghost kitchen concept, where meals are prepared to order and picked up from a front counter, the streamlined process can be utilized easily walking from class to class or meeting to meeting. All ordering is done through the Transact Mobile Ordering App, which can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play. Users can then select University of Nebraska–Lincoln as their campus, sign in with their university credentials and start ordering. The app can also be used at select dining locations for to-go orders on City and East campuses, including the unions.
“We’ve noticed that students have figured out they can order their food in the last minutes of class and it’s ready when they get here,” Guernsey said. “The app actually gives approximate wait times, so they’re learning they can’t all order right at 12:30.”
Guernsey said that usage of the new space is ticking up each day, with the first week of classes bringing in about 2,000 orders a day. Guernsey expects the numbers to grow as new students get settled in and download the app for ordering.
“Only a quarter of our students have downloaded the app,” Guernsey said. “But we’ve always been a main hub at lunchtime.”
Students on meal plans can use a meal exchange credit or dining dollars for orders at Selleck. Faculty and staff can attach a credit card, dining dollars or a gift card to pay for orders.
Renovations and new food concepts for Selleck were planned before the COVID-19 pandemic — and were delayed — but the ensuing guidelines and policies brought additional ideas for streamlining the ordering, preparing and pickup processes.
“The mobile app really took off with COVID because it’s contactless, and being able to do it all from the ghost kitchen, behind the scenes, and have it ready to go — students just order, come, scan their app and our staff hand it to them,” Guernsey said. “Originally, we were going to have someone at each counter, taking orders, and I don’t think that would have been as easy of a process.
“And with the mobile app, we’re able to switch up the menus easily. We’re able to do a limited time offering of something, or if we have something seasonal, we can do that. We’ll have pumpkin bread this fall, but in the spring, we might have lemon or poppy seed bread, for example. We can throw in something different to give some new options.”