Behind the sweet potato fry change in Blanchard Café

Photo by Leah Willingham '17   Sweet potato fries are no longer offered in Blanchard Café.

Photo by Leah Willingham '17

Sweet potato fries are no longer offered in Blanchard Café.


Starting this fall, sweet potato fries were removed from the menu at Blanchard Café.

Peter Haas, the Blanchard Café unit manager, said that the disappearance of sweet potato fries is due to a loss of storage space. Since the first phase of the construction for the new community center began this past summer,  Blanchard has lost its refrigerator and freezer space, which was originally located in the back of the kitchen on the southeast corner. This area is now the new mechanical room. At the moment, they are using temporary units to compensate for the smaller space. “These units are half the size of our old storage space,” Haas said.

This change required the unit manager to make menu adjustments, particularly cutting down on popular items such as sweet potato fries based on usage. Last year, according to Haas’ records, students consumed 220 cases of sweet potato fries, 410 cases of spicy fries and 544 cases of regular fries. In addition, the size of sweet potato fries cases are substantially smaller than those of spicy and regular fries. Each sweet potato fries case is only 15 pounds compared to 24 lbs for spicy and 30 lbs for regular fries. As a result, “I removed the least popular,” Haas said.

It is yet to be determined whether Super Blanch will serve sweet potato fries. “I cannot really speak to what will be on the menu in the community center as we are just starting menu development,” he said.

While sweet potato fries are no longer served in Blanchard, students can still enjoy them at certain times in other dining halls. In general, Haas suggests student go to the main menu web page and use the “Find Your Favorite Food” search bar. “If you type in what you’re looking for, it will tell you the next time it is on and the location,” he said. This will only show the meal times the item is available within the current week. If students don’t find what they want on the first try, they are encouraged to search again at a later date when menu updates for the next weeks are posted.