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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Best of Aggieland: Aggies love to ‘Eat Mor Chikin’

The+Chick-fil-A+located+in+Texas+A%26amp%3BM%26%238217%3Bs+Memorial+Student+Center+is+one+of+the+campus%26%238217%3Bs+newest+and+busiest+restaurants.
Photo by Photo by Robert O’Brien

The Chick-fil-A located in Texas A&M’s Memorial Student Center is one of the campus’s newest and busiest restaurants.

With just over one year of operation, the Memorial Student Center, or MSC, Chick-fil-A has proven to be a fan favorite when it comes to Texas A&M’s on-campus dining.
Open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays, Chick-fil-A offers an array of menu options for customers to choose from. Alongside the variety, staff members work hard to provide excellent quality service to customers to ensure they have a positive experience.
Assistant director of dining services Martin Perez, Class of 2003, serves as the current location manager. Perez has been working at Chick-fil-A for two and a half years, with one and half of those years at the MSC location. Perez said his favorite part about work is the interaction between team members and customers.
“It’s just watching the interaction … especially with our regulars, seeing how [they] interact with each other, not only placing the order, but actually having a conversation while waiting for their food to come up,” Perez said. “It’s fun to see that interaction … because the atmosphere feeds off of each other, and being able to see that … it really brings home what the mission of Chick-fil-A is, to have the best experience possible.”
Chick-fil-A general manager John Yeager began his experience back in the summer of 2019 by putting together the build-out and establishing the new MSC location. Yeager said he believes what sets Chick-fil-A apart is the strong culture reinforced every day through students’ feedback.
“We’ve got a number of options where the students can give us feedback,” Yeager said. “Typically, the feedback you get is not generally all that positive. But, I’ve got to say the preponderance of the feedback that we get [at] Chick-fil-A, it’s got something wonderful to say … [about] the guest experience, and it just keeps you getting up in the morning and heading out. [It keeps] everybody positive and … [it] makes it the best place to work on campus, in my opinion.”
Throughout the week, the restaurant’s popularity can be seen with long lines, often extending past the food court, filled with eager students excited to sate their hunger. Journalism junior and Chick-fil-A front-of-house supervisor Jaylin Oliver said he believes the home-like environment influences the continuation of students’ return to the restaurant.
“I think that we have … [a] friendlier and more at-home environment when you come in,” Oliver said. “We have regulars that come in a lot of [the] time, and we try to remember what they like [and] keep a good conversation going, so I think having those experiences and moments [are] what brings them back every time. I mean, it’s Chick-fil-A, who doesn’t want it?”
Director of marketing and guest experience Stephanie Denson said with plans to renovate the MSC food court, the university wanted to figure out what the people wanted. After collecting surveys from various students and faculty, Chick-fil-A was a popular choice
“Chick-fil-A, of course, is always a No. 1 on a majority of college campuses,” Denson said. “So, we [were] excited to bring up the brand new Chick-fil-A to the Memorial Student Center, and it has not lost popularity, and we don’t see it going down anytime soon.”
Along with popularity, most notably comes high-volume crowds, especially during the rush hours of lunch and early dinners. Despite the large wave of customers coming in, Perez said the employees always ensure preparations are made for handling the high traffic times.
“We’re pretty much a hub for all students coming in and leaving the main campus, so the way we deal with that is we try to get them through our line as quick[ly] as possible,” Perez said. “Just being prepared for the lunch rushes [and] knowing the class times [is a] key component to us. Doing little things like that really helps anticipate the lines that we’re going to be getting during the day.”
Yeager said, in the first year, the new location changed line plans five times because the managers are constantly thinking of ways to effectively get meals to customers.
“It’s all about working up the efficiency and trying to get the hot food across the counter to the guests as quickly as possible so they’re not standing in that line very long,” Yeager said. “There’s a lot of operational stuff that goes into the calculations on how we can get the guests from point A to point B. Every offseason, we break it all down again and take another look just to make sure that we’re just as sharp as we possibly can be.”
The MSC Chick-fil-A also boasts expanded menu options which aren’t available at any of the other on-campus locations. This includes some dessert and drink options offered exclusively at the MSC location.
“We have iced coffee and frosted lemonades. Dessert-wise, we have brownies and cookies,” Perez said. “And for the morning people that want breakfast … we have yogurt parfaits.”
Denson said, ultimately, she believes the hard work of the employees at the restaurant is what makes it one of the best.
“Their team [and] these guys here have a lot of passion for what they do, and there’s a reason why they are the most popular location on campus,” Denson said.

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