Marketplace Food Court is still open to serve students and staff. Photo credit: Akira Cooper

Since COVID-19’s arrival in the community, Marketplace Food Court and Savoir Fare bakery have had to change how they operate for students and staff.

The college’s main food court in D-Building and the 35th Street Market Cafe in residence are the only two of food service’s seven locations open this fall.

“Most of the changes in the Marketplace Food Court are physical and operational changes,” said Mary Baxter, the general manager of food and conference services at Algonquin. “We have implemented barriers and flow of traffic with a dedicated entrance and exit.”

While Marketplace’s hours have remained the same, many other things are different.

“Everything has changed since last semester,” said Maryanne Murphy, a Savoir Fare bakery employee. “We don’t have the same amount of products like we used to but those students are still providing and doing their curriculum.”

The restaurants are experiencing a financial impact due to fewer students being present at the college. “Our revenue has been significantly reduced,” Baxter said. “Our catering, conference, and banquet business have also been impacted as there are currently no events on campus.”

Activity on campus is as minimal as possible, but those who are on campus are using the services to their advantage.

For some, they still like to visit the food services when they’re on campus. “We’ll come occasionally,” said Emma McKenna, 21, a first-year applied museum studies student, gesturing to her friend, first-year professional writing student, Megan Paul, 19. “Probably less than your average student.”

“The health and safety of our community is our top priority,” Baxter said. “Some of the measures put in place to support physical distancing include plexiglass partitions, signage, and floor decals, and tables in from of service counters.”

Algonquin is following the Public Health guidelines and has made sure the food services they offer areas needed to keep everyone safe.

“We have adjusted our self-serve models for our hot bars and salad bars to full-serve or grab and go models,” Baxter said. “Our menus have been adjusted to accommodate this. Certain areas are also not currently open however, our focus remains on providing a variety of freshly prepared, high-quality food offerings.”

Menus are available online and can be accessed through a QR code found on signs in the Marketplace. Seating has been rearranged to support physical distancing and contactless payments are encouraged.