Marigold’s Dining Hall — located at the Yale School of Medicine — is scheduled to reopen next month with a “grab-and-go” style menu.
Because students have voiced interest in having to-go options over a formal meal plan, Director of Residential Dining Cathy Van Dyke SOM ’86 said Marigold’s will adopt a style similar to that of Chipotle — in which students can pick and choose from several food options. Director of Culinary Excellence Ron DeSantis said the new offerings are designed to fit their culinary desires. Shivani Bhatt MED ’21 said previous offerings at Marigold’s were in need of improvement, and she is optimistic about the new approach.
“Having flexibility would be nice, and I think that’s what we’re headed toward,” she said. “You can never have enough places that serve coffee on a hospital campus, so if they have the right options I think it could work really well.”
Bhatt said she and other students had found the quality of food at Marigold’s to be lacking. While some items were popular, the menu as a whole was inconsistent, she said.
But School of Medicine professor and section chief Patrick O’Connor said he and his colleagues enjoyed Marigold’s before it closed for renovation, adding that he is excited for the dining hall to reopen.
“Professors often eat there, and I’ve always found the food and service to be good,” he said. “I know they’ve been renovating the place and I’m looking forward to seeing what the final product looks like.”
DeSantis said new offerings at Marigold’s, based on cuisines from across the world, would be “sophisticated, delicious and customizable.” He added that they would include fresh components and bold flavors, increasing student satisfaction in the process.
Van Dyke said to-go meals will not only provide students with a more satisfactory dining experience, but also fit their demanding schedules.
“For med students, they spend half their time in the hospital — so they want to eat there,” she said. “The new concepts will provide students with that kind of flexibility.”
Brittany Volpe MED ’16, a student in the Physician Associate Program, said the new approach will be more convenient for students, so she expects interest in Marigold’s to increase among students. Bhatt added that Marigold’s would have to compete with the Yale-New Haven Hospital, which offers its own “grab-and-go” style meals independently.
Though Jayna Whitcomb MED’16 said she would not purchase to-go-style meals because she prefers to cook her own lunch, she said she expects many students to utilize the service.
All six undergraduate students interviewed said they would prefer if Yale Dining also regularly offered “grab-and-go” meals at residential dining halls.
The closest alternative at the moment is a service by which undergraduate students can order packaged meals in advance. Dianne Lake ’16 said she utilized the program when she had to miss lunch for a performance, and she found it to be convenient, adding that Yale Dining should work to increase awareness of the program.
Arabelle Schoenberg ’19 said she had never heard of the service but would be interested in using it — especially because of the demanding schedule she follows as an athlete.
Luke Stringer ’17 said the service is necessary regardless of usage, because the students who use it “really need it.”
“Students have such busy schedules that sometimes they can only have lunch for 10 or 15 minutes, so in that case having a ‘to-go’ option might be more feasible in terms of accommodating students who need increased flexibility,” he said.
Yale College students can eat their meals at 10 locations beyond the residential college dining halls.