Taco restaurant nears its last stand

Roman Rippeteau, a freshman from Hendersonville, Tenn., orders food from Taco’s Last Stand at the Downing University Center Food Court on Monday.

Katherine Wade

Students can expect a new restaurant brand, among other changes, to come to WKU dining by next fall.

Tim Colley, district manager for ARAMARK and the WKU Restaurant and Catering Group, said some changes would be made in the Downing University Center food court this summer, including a new eating option.

Taco’s Last Stand has not been as well-received as they hoped when it opened, Colley said.

“I think it is a name thing,” he said. “We have received positive impact from people who have tried it. But students aren’t going here because it’s just not Taco Bell.”

Allison Feikes, a freshman from La Porte, Ind., said she ate at Taco’s Last Stand once at the beginning of the year but doesn’t eat there regularly. She said she’d be excited to see a new brand in DUC.

“I would definitely prefer something else there,” she said. “I usually go to DUC because it’s the closest to my dorm, so I look forward to something new there.”

Taco Bell, which had an outlet in the DUC food court until three years ago, left because of a contractual issue, Colley said. He has since tried to bring it back but hasn’t succeeded yet.

Colley didn’t want to reveal the new dining option until a contract had been signed.

ARAMARK, a company that provides food services to colleges and universities, is also planning on putting in its newest campus convenience store, known as Provisions on Demand, in the new parking garage being built on the corner of 13th Avenue and Kentucky Street.

Colley said the store would benefit residents of the apartments intended to wrap the garage, as well as students living on the north end of campus.

“The plans have been drawn up, and now we’re just waiting for the garage to be built,” he said.

The store would feature “grab ’n go dining options for breakfast, lunch or any time of day … as well as fresh produce, bakery and coffee selections and traditional essentials found in a convenience store,” according to the ARAMARK website.

Aramark has just started another project, Colley said, called MarketMATCH.

MarketMATCH is a 16-week research process that takes an in-depth look at how to best serve their clients.

“They talk to the president, faculty, staff, students, even high school students, and find out what they’d like to see happen with dining,” Colley said.

At the end of the report, MarketMATCH provides a five- to six-year plan to guide the university’s dining service.