By Erianne Lewis | Arts and Life Editor
The section of the Bill Daniel Student Union Building that previously housed Grubhub has been transformed into Revolve, a concept where local restaurants from the Waco area will rotate in and out for a four-week period throughout the fall semester.
Jordy Dickey, associate director of Student Union, said this concept, which has been over two years in the making, will tremendously benefit students by providing them an opportunity to try local Waco restaurants from the convenience of campus.
“Our hope is that not only are you being exposed to the diverse culinary scene, but at the same time you are inspired to go out and try a lot of our small businesses in the city, to patron them often and become lifelong fans of them,” Dickey said.
Jerry Weatherman, Aramark food service director, said the Revolve concept also adds more food options for students on campus.
“Students, I believe, are looking for new and different things,” Weatherman said. “We’ve got the stable brands we run on campus but it’s nice to have a unit that you can revolve and keep the dining options new and fresh.”
Weatherman said Aramark was initially looking for a space filler for that section of the SUB.
“We were trying to find something for the space up front that the students would like and enjoy,” Weatherman said.
Dickey said the concept originally began before the COVID-19 pandemic but was forced into a pause, as the world completely shut down. Dickey said this did not deter them from their original vision.
“When we knew that we were going to come back to our first in-person, socially distanced safe semester, we decided to continue the concept in the food truck rotation. That’s why you saw food trucks on campus last year,” Dickey said. “It’s a great opportunity to even see if students will buy into the concept and they did. That’s why you see Revolve and the food trucks moving forward collectively.”
The businesses that are scheduled for the fall semester are Oh My Juice!, Bare Bucha and Harvest on 25th, The Salad Stand and Nightlight Donuts. Dickey said these are only a few of the Waco businesses they have been collaborating with.
“There are other partners that we have been cultivating as well. Guess Family Barbecue, Koko Ramen, Revival Eastside Eatery, just to name a few,” Dickey said. “We’ve got a community that has representatives from External Affairs, Aramark Dining partners and students from student government that will speak into the spring semester rotation. As we continue to bring on partners, our hope is to build a large Revolve database of partners that are ready to go, and students to really speak into making the choices for the spring rotation.”
Dickey said the collaborative partnership between Aramark, Waco small businesses and Baylor External Affairs was instrumental in allowing for the Revolve concept to come together.
“We love the idea that it allows us to support Waco small businesses, it introduces students to a variety of culinary cuisine and at the same time, it keeps it fresh,” Dickey said. “That was what we were always looking for: an opportunity to make sure the concept doesn’t grow stagnate, but at the same time it can always be evolving.”