Fewer food trucks are coming to Quinnipiac this semester


Eric Kerr, Men's Basketball and Women's Volleyball Beat Reporter

The sight of a Quinnipiac University student walking up to a food truck and grabbing something to eat is not happening as frequently this fall.

Food truck vendors say that the number of times they can come to campus depends on when Quinnipiac schedules them to do so. Jared Cohen, the owner of “Spuds your Way” says their assigned time slots to come to the university were cut down based on the university’s dining service Chartwells and its partnership with another company: Food Fleet.

“For Quinnipiac, it’s only once a month this semester, but this month we were able to get here two times,” Cohen said. “They [Chartwells] have it set up with Food Fleet for us with designated time slots.”

Food Fleet, a company that handles transactions for food trucks to enable students’ meal plans to pay, determines which companies can grab the Q Card machine on which day. For student organizations and Greek life requesting to use a food truck for their event, meal plans cannot be used for that scenario.

“If a student or organization is running an event, they won’t allow us to pull a tablet for that event,” Cohen said. “It has to be through Food Fleet because everything is handled through them, so they can cut us our check.”

Cohen mentions that Food Fleet takes about 10-15% of their profit after working a shift at Quinnipiac.

This week, the school hosted three different food trucks from Tuesday to Thursday. Main campus offered two lunch options: “Spuds Your Way,” a customizable baked potato business on Tuesday, and “Fork in the Road,” a truck providing an assortment of salad and sandwich options on Thursday. Both trucks served students from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

York Hill had just one food truck running this week: “La Mesa.” This truck served tacos, chicken wings and pork sliders among other dishes on Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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Last spring, Quinnipiac offered food truck options not only five days a week but offered as many as three meals on each weekday.

Looking at the tail end of the spring semester from April 26-30, each day had a lunch, dessert and dinner option on the main campus. The exception was Friday (April 30) which had only “Moon Rocks Cookies,” for dessert. Lunch and dessert trucks were at the quad, while dinner food trucks were stationed at Hill Circle. York Hill also offered lunch and dinner food trucks on Tuesday, April 27 and Thursday April 29.

This pattern continued throughout April, where the Friday dessert days on main campus were only added after the end of March. Monday to Thursday were the only days during the week that had food trucks at the time.


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While food trucks are coming to campus less, some students like second-year biology major Kayla McFadden still benefit when they do get the chance to use their meal plan.

“I think it’s a lot easier,” McFadden said. “I wouldn’t mind using my own money… but the fact that I can use my meal points just makes it more convenient for me.”

First-year computer science major Brian Wannamaker would add that using meal points helps when college students like himself may be tight on spending money.

“My funds are running low,” Wannamaker said. “I have a lot of meal points to burn, and it’s not that expensive so it really helps.”

McFadden, who was taking classes in Hamden last semester appreciated the number of times food trucks came to campus but was able to adjust to the smaller number of appearances.

“Now that things are slowly returning back to normal on campus, I feel like having them three times a week is fine,” McFadden said. “Now we can get off campus to get food rather than the food trucks being our only source of off-campus food.”

A few students who live on York Hill, like third-year chemistry major Calliopse Tarsi, are fine with the timing of when food trucks come to their campus but want more than just one day of service.

“I wish they were on York Hill more often,” Tarsi said. “I live up there, and it’s nice to get service up there since the cafe(eteria) at York Hill has less options than it does here.”

Wannamaker and Tarsi, claiming the trucks offer more choices to what the university is cooking.

“It’s the same thing every day,” Wannamaker said. “We just go there and get like pasta, but here [the food trucks] always offer something different, lobster… now I’m eating a baked potato, I haven’t had baked potatoes in forever … Just like how my mom used to make them.”

Wannamaker’s baked potato was from “Spuds your Way,” one of six other vendors that have already parked their trucks across the quad and York Hill this semester. Those vendors include the ones who served food this week; “Spuds your Way,” “La Mesa” and “Fork in the Road,” alongside other local businesses including “Los Mariachis on Wheels,” “The Chef Truck,” “Liberty Rock Tavern,” “Fryborg” and “Taste of Grill.”

McFadden adds that the food trucks offer an opportunity to influence students to get out of their dorm rooms and come together outside.

“All the food trucks seem to bring out a lot of people,” McFadden said. “It’s something that’s different from dining hall food and it’s a way for us to spend some time outside.”

While the cooler temperatures make their way to campus, Quinnipiac continues to schedule food trucks to be on campus. Vendors look to follow through with that plan.

“We run year-round,” Cohen said. “It doesn’t matter whether it’s raining, snowing… we show up.”

Students plan on being there too.

“Oh yeah,” Wannamaker said. “It could be snowing, and I’ll be out here.”

McFadden would make a slight chuckle saying that any condition won’t stop her from taking a trip to the trucks.

“I’m from New England. So, I don’t mind standing out here in the cold if it’s for good food,” McFadden said.