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Ohio State Dining Services puts meals on wheels

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OSU's Thyme and Change food truck serves the Ohio State community Sept. 10, 2014. Credit: Daniel Bendtsen / Asst. arts editor

OSU’s Thyme and Change food truck serves the Ohio State community Sept. 10, 2014.
Credit: Daniel Bendtsen / Asst. arts editor

A new food truck has found its way onto campus this semester.

Thyme and Change is the most recent addition to Ohio State  Dining Services, usually parked near the corner of 17th and Neil avenues outside of Baker Systems Engineering.

Even though this is a new food truck, it’s not a new operation. Dining Services has offered mobile food for quite some time, said Zia Ahmed, the senior director of Dining Services.

The new venture is a step up, Ahmed explained, from what used to be known as Boss Doggs, the mobile hot dog stand that used to sit outside of University Hall. Boss Doggs was run independently until the university bought the stand in 2007.

Thyme & Change serves national and international street food, including menu themes such as Korean and barbecue. The menu rotates at least four times a week and includes a short rib taco and chicken and waffles.

Ahmed said students had a lot of input into this food truck, as they do with all of the options that Dining Services provides.

“We do a lot of market research with our students, including focus groups,” Ahmed said. “The ideas that students really like get translated directly to the menu.”

The theme and name of Thyme and Change was an idea within Dining Services but heavily influenced by students.

“We’re always engaging with not only students, but we work closely with Undergraduate Student Government,” Ahmed said. “We constantly get feedback.”

Thyme and Change has taken a bite  out of Dining Services’ finances, costing almost $100,000. That includes the cost of the truck and all its equipment.

Ahmed expects to recover the cost from sales the truck will generate.

That could be done in no time, considering the lines the truck has drawn in between class sessions.

“Everything we tested with students are validated by the students who are actually enjoying it,” Ahmed said.

One of those students is Thomas Burnett, a first-year in computer science and engineering.

“I have came here the past three days,” Burnett said. “They always have a good variety of food. The Korean barbecue tacos are my favorite.”

Meghan Slattery shared a similar sentiment about Thyme and Change.

“The food was nice and hot, and the service was fast,” said Slattery, a second-year in special education.

Kathryn Fabiano, a third-year in dance and special education, had some advice after trying the chicken and waffles.

“It was a lot sweeter than what I thought, maybe balance the taste with your side dish,” Fabiano said.

Dining Services could possibly make changes to Thyme and Change, depending on its success. These changes could include extended hours and varied locations and maybe even a second truck, Ahmed said.

Ahmed is hopeful about the future of Thyme and Change.

“This is very exciting. We are getting great feedback from students and even faculty,” Ahmed said.

Thyme and Change is open Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The food truck only accepts cash or BuckID as payment.

3 comments

  1. Current OSU Student

    I’ve been wanting to try this place for a few weeks, but a lot of us don’t carry cash anymore. They should consider accepting cards like most other food trucks do usin the Square app.

  2. Alumni, Tax Payer and Environmentalist

    While it’s an interesting idea but I find it a poor use of money. Things like this is what keeps tuition (room and board) for our students to keep increasing to unreallistic amounts. If the University feel like it should offer its students food truck options, then sell day/week//month permits to private companies to occupy spaces around campus. This would not cost the University $100k but still generate revenue.

  3. ^”Alumni, Tax Payer and Environmentalist”,

    At least use proper spelling if you’re going to criticize a school you no longer attend.

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