Loker May Offer Fast Food by Next Fall

College administrators yesterday said they have begun working on implementing student suggestions to improve Loker Commons, following the completion of a student survey the results of which were released this week.

Perhaps the most important change being pursued is the probability that brand-name fast food will be made available in Loker as early as next semester.

According to Leonard D. Condenzio, acting director of Harvard Dining Services, getting fast food for Loker is high on his agenda.

"Fast food is something I heard loud and clear," Condenzio said. "The survey gave it a tremendous foundation."

The search for a brand-name eatery for Loker, however, leads to a complicated problem. Condenzio said he is not sure students are hungry for a particular name brand like McDonald's or Taco Bell, although both names were mentioned in multiple survey responses.


The advantages of fast-food chains, he said, lie in their menu consistency, low prices and convenience.

"There are a lot of fast-food chains that fulfill that need that are not McDonald's," he said.

Loker's fast-food dilemma goes beyond the perfect burger, however. Due to its proximity to Harvard Square, a new nationally known fast food outlet at Loker might create conflict between the University and community activists who are fighting to keep the Square chain-free.

"McDonald's poses difficulties because of the Square," Condenzio said.

The answer, Condenzio said, may be in finding a lesser-known chain that would still satisfy student hunger for fast food.

Condenzio said he plans to explore fast-food options--particularly lesser-known chains--for Loker at a national brand-name food conference next Tuesday and Wednesday.

"The branding conference, I hope, will open my mind to other things out there," he said. "There are a lot of regional brands that deliver a higher-quality product than the major brands."

After the conference, he said, he hopes to present students with several brand-name choices as soon as possible. Ideally, he said, the new restaurant would open by the start of next semester.

The survey also indicated that students think Loker's food prices are too high, a complaint of which Condenzio said he is aware.

"I know we need a price point well below the average Loker Commons price point," he said.

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