By Connor Ryan
Despite steadfast optimism from high-level administrators this summer, Chipotle — the zesty Mexican chain restaurant that has skyrocketed to national appeal — will not be a food option at Rose Hill anytime soon, a Fordham official confirmed Friday.
“Chipotle feels there’s more opportunity off campus,” said Deming Yaun, Fordham’s dining contract liaison. “The on-campus market didn’t appeal to them from a business model point of view.”
Sodexo, Fordham’s longtime food service provider, was in talks with Chipotle to install retail outlets on five college campuses nationwide — including Rose Hill — but deals fell through on all of them, Yaun said. “It’s not just at Fordham,” he clarified.
How will students react to the news that the Grille will not be infiltrated by burrito bowls and guacamole?
“A number of students have said they like The Grille as is, and they wondered if it would be good to replace it with a [retail] venue,” Yaun said. When placed next to the SubConnection, Cosi, Dagger John’s and Zebi’s, the Grille receives the highest traffic of students, he noted.
Though social media indicates many current, prospective and past students had their sights set on a new home for Chipotle.
@ChipotleTweets please bring a chipotle to Fordham. We are dying.
— RJ Simmons (@rjsimmons94) January 24, 2014
Fordham is getting an on-campus Chipotle in the fall, they’re practically just preparing for my arrival already.
— Regina George (@christianfailla) October 15, 2013
The Millennium Grille could be a Chipotle by this time next year. Yeah, I knew I graduated three years too early. http://t.co/EljD7Khird
— John DeMarzo (@JohnDeMarzo) July 18, 2013
Soon after Fordham announced it had signed a 10-year contract with Sodexo this summer — then seen as a highly damaged food provider on campus — administrators were quick to tout plans for various retail installations on campus, including Chipotle.
The Grille was to be turned into a Wholly Habaneros, which is Sodexo’s in-house version of Chipotle, by the start of last fall and then a Chipotle by the start of next fall, Jeff Gray, vice president of Student Affairs, told The Fordham Ram this summer.
Yaun says the Grille may be renovated and expanded this summer to include more Sodexo food options and seating space, but plans have not yet been confirmed.