Think Tank Café expands options

Trey Crumbie

Students eating lunch on South Campus now have more food options to choose from. 

SMARTS Think Tank Café, which provides food services on the South and Glasgow campuses, is expanding its menu. The cafeteria replaced the food court on South Campus last semester. 

Peggy Bates, owner of the SMARTS Think Tank Café, said the South Campus menu will now include quesadillas, muffins, cinnamon rolls and vegetarian items.

Bates said some of the additions of the menu were suggested, while others were already being served on the Glasgow campus.

“We are really aware of the benefits of vegetarian dishes and we wanted to add those here as an option,” Bates said. 

Bates said because the SMARTS Think Tank Café is not a franchise, it allows for more flexibility in the menu.

“We can change it up so that the student likes what we’re serving,” Bates said.

Bates said the cafeteria will also begin selling smoothies in the spring.

The cafeteria will also begin to sell general items, such as paper and pens, in the coming weeks. Big Red Dollars will also be accepted as payment once the items will be available for sale. 

The SMARTS owner said the cafeteria also has more seating, repainted walls and a TV. Bates said the changes were made because she wanted the cafeteria to be a more welcoming place than it was last semester.

“It just wasn’t a warm environment,” she said. “We wanted it to be a place where people come over, hang out, talk with their friends, use their computer, eat and just enjoy that time they have away from class.”

Bates said because the cafeteria on the Glasgow campus lacks a commercial kitchen, some of the new food offered on South Campus cannot be offered in Glasgow.

“A lot of these things that we have here, we can’t have there,” Bates said. “…We don’t have the equipment or the wherewithal to do that.”

Bates hopes that changes sometime in the future.

Bates said she has learned a lot about catering to students on South Campus and how their needs are different from those of Glasgow students.

“It’s a non-traditional versus a traditional student,” she said. “It’s just a different animal.”

Bates said student responses have been encouraging. 

“Some students we see every day,” she said. “We’re just thrilled for people who walk through the door and give us a try.”

Clarksville, Tenn., freshman Marcel Mayo said he likes the changes SMARTS Think Tank Café has made.

“I eat here pretty much every Monday, Wednesday and Friday,” Mayo said. “I like the environment. It’s very comfortable and homely.”