Bow Wow’s limited hours cause frustration among students
Bow Wow, a take-out snack for students, offers shorter opening hours than Durfee previously
Courtesy of Francis Dzikowski
The Bow Wow, a new convenience store in the basement of the Schwarzman Center, is up and running this semester – but not all Bulldogs are happy with it.
The store, which offers take-out food and drink, as well as college and personal care items, is seen by many as a replacement for Durfee’s Sweet Shoppe, the Elm Street convenience store that students frequented. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck in the spring of 2020, Durfee is closed indefinitely. Many students had turned to Durfee – which featured longer hours than dining halls – for take-out dining options, especially on days when their class schedules were inconsistent with lunch times in the dining halls. But some students say The Bow Wow’s politics and dining hours aren’t as accessible as its predecessor.
“I’m sure Yale lost money on Durfee and is trying to make The Bow Wow less of a budget burner,” Emma Knight ’23 said. “It seems to me that they favor aesthetics and [classiness] rather than ensuring that children are fed.
Adam Millman, senior director of retail, food service and ancillary services at Yale Hospitality, wrote in a statement to the News that: “The design of the Bow Wow was based on subject matter experts and consultants providing specific recommendations to support a rewarding student experience. Consultants, architects and project team members collaborated on all facets of functionality, use of space, movement / flow and ease of operations.
According to Knight, The Bow Wow accepted the lunch shots until 4 p.m. in the first few weeks of the semester – an hour earlier than the 5 p.m. cut-off at Durfee the previous years. Although a change was never officially announced, a paper sign with the updated times appeared on the store door in late September.
Christelle Ramos, senior director of marketing and communications for Yale Hospitality, told the News that although residential food service hours had always been 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., there had been a technology glitch during the previous academic year allowing meal transfers until 5 p.m., and the Yale Hospitality team was not aware of the issue until the end of the 2021 spring semester.
It’s unclear if this issue was responsible for The Bow Wow’s extended lunch hours in the first few weeks of this semester.. Yale Hospitality did not respond specifically at the time of posting.
The reduced hours posed a logistical headache for some students. Isabella Hay ’24 told the News that on Tuesdays she is busy with classes from 10:30 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. and a lab from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Because the mess rooms and The Bow Wow are all closed by the time she gets a break, she usually ends up having a late lunch at a local restaurant using the Snackpass app.
“It’s not super ideal to have both wasting a meal and spending extra money on a lunch each week, so I think it would be helpful if Yale had an additional meal plan option that would allow students pay less for meals, ”Hay mentioned.
The dilemma prompted some students to get creative. On days when Hailey O’Connor ’24 – a writer for the News – has three consecutive classes, coming out after 3 p.m., she runs to The Bow Wow as soon as it opens. At 11 a.m., O’Connor grabs several granola bars to help her out throughout the day. “An unrefrigerated sandwich or salad kept in my backpack all day isn’t really appetizing,” she said.
O’Connor said students should be able to use their daily meals with a more flexible schedule, and a take-out display should be available throughout the day, rather than during lunch hours only.
The Bow Wow is also open only on weekdays, while Durfee’s Accepted Brunch has been open on weekends in previous years.
Bob Sullivan, senior director of residential catering at Yale Hospitality, told the News that despite the time changes, students still have more flexibility with the new Flexible meal plan, which Yale Hospitality developed in response to the reopening of Commons and the addition of The Bow Wow. The plan has the “most points ever included in a Yale meal plan,” Sullivan said.
“This meal plan was specifically designed for students who require fewer residential college meals and more flexible options between and after dining room service hours,” Sullivan wrote in an e- mail to News. “Few students are aware of this.”
Sullivan added that although the deadline for transferring meal plans has passed, Yale Hospitality has responded to requests for student transfers as they acknowledge that information on the various plans “may not have been up to date. foreground for many students “because of the pandemic.
Construction of the Schwarzman Center began in 2018.