Dining Services Plan Greenhouse Facelift
She and fellow students looking for change in the Greenhouse-including more variety in the fare and weekend hours-might get their wish.
As part of an ongoing renovation of campus dining halls, the Science Center's Greenhouse Cafe is scheduled to be renovated this summer.
The cafe has not been renovated in 10 years, said Alix McNitt, spokesperson for Harvard University Dining Services (HUDS).
"It's a little worn, a little tired for the kind of facility it is," she said.
HUDS hired an independent consultant who has organized focus groups to discuss what currently works and what doesn't.
Garcia was one of around seven student members of the recent Greenhouse focus group. She received $25 in Crimson Cash for her suggested improvements.
These included "improving the circulation of people from the food area to the register area to the dining area. We also suggested more variety in what was offered," she said.
She said the students were asked to tell HUDS how many times per week they eat at the Greenhouse, what they eat and what foods they like and don't like.
The consultant, Claudia Scotty of Thomas Ricca Planning Studio, suggested the Greenhouse stay open on weekends and later on weekdays. Scotty also worked with HUDS on the House dining hall renovations.
In addition to regular student patrons and those who responded to table tent advertisements, faculty members were also encouraged to attend their own focus group.
"Since people are more comfortable speaking within peer groups, we had a staff members focus group and then two groups of undergraduates," McNitt said. She said that while focus groups have become common for House dining halls, it's more difficult for the Greenhouse because of its broad array of customers.
"The Greenhouse is a brand-new project-there is no template. We're basically asking people, 'What do you like and what would you like to change?'" McNitt said.
She said students on the whole seem pleased that the Greenhouse is so convenient.
"It's perfect for people going there to be able to swing by. Also, the food is very transportable, which is very important to people. The speed with which they can get in and out is important to them," McNitt said.
She said that since the project is still in the planning stage, she's not yet sure what the more concrete changes will be.
The renovations are timed to coincide with the ongoing construction on the Science Center. That project is expanding several floors of the building.