UMass dining commons should offer all-day breakfast

In our world full of uncertainty, we need something to depend on

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Collegian File Photo

By Zach Leach, Collegian Columnist

It feels like every time I open any form of social media, I’m confronted with people talking about COVID-19 and mask mandates. While this is obviously important, it’s getting a bit old. I believe it’s time to start discussing something that really matters. I would like to walk into Franklin Dining Commons and get a stack of pancakes and a pile of scrambled eggs at 4 p.m. on a Tuesday. The University of Massachusetts needs to stand up to its “Great Campus Food” claims and give the people what they really want: all-day breakfast.

At this point, I can probably guess what you’re thinking: “Nobody even likes the breakfast food right now. Why would we want it all day?” To these skeptics, I encourage you to open your mind and imagine the possibilities. If UMass dedicated more resources to their breakfast food, there’s no telling how far they could go. All-day omelets? A crêpe bar? The possibilities are limitless. Imagine strolling into Late Night at 11 p.m. and getting a plate full of French toast sticks. Are you sure this isn’t a life you want to live?

Granted, UMass Dining is already halfway there. All dining commons have basic items such as bagels and English muffins offered all day, and in recent years, Berkshire Dining Commons has even provided a breakfast food option at Late Night. With these options, UMass continues its trend of always being halfway there but still grossly insufficient. I, like many others, love breakfast food. That being said, I can only eat so many bagels in my life. Humans crave variety, and this should be taken into consideration when it comes to our breakfast.

Some people absolutely hate the idea of eating breakfast food for dinner. I know someone that has actually described this phenomenon as “sacrilegious.” I offer a simple solution to these naysayers: don’t eat the breakfast food for dinner. Why should the beliefs of the few restrict the realities of the masses? If you think all-day breakfast is a terrible idea that you would never want to participate in, simply don’t participate. Do you live solely to make those around you unhappy? Let people enjoy things.

If the UMass administration is wary about implementing this radical plan, they should look no further than to McDonald’s. In 2016, the fast-food conglomerate announced its plan to roll out all-day breakfast in all of its stores. Analysts were skeptical, but this new plan caused same-store sales to rise almost 6 percent in one quarter. McDonald’s chose to listen to the people, and the people were chanting in the streets for all-day breakfast. If this bold plan worked for one of the largest restaurant companies in America, why wouldn’t it work for UMass Dining?

A residential meal plan at UMass will cost you anywhere between $3,000 and $3,500 per semester, a significant jump from the national average of $2,250 per semester. This increased price is clearly reflected in the quality our dining hall food, which is much better than most other schools in America. I, however, believe that we can do more. The average student pays over $30 per day on food at this price point. This is also much higher than what the average single person spends on food a day, which is around $20, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Now, this shocking figure is indicative of a much larger problem regarding the cost of higher education, but for the purpose of this column, it’s indicative of only one thing: UMass students are paying far too much for the food that we’re being served.

What better way to rectify this problem than to either lower the cost of food or give the students what they want? I don’t believe the former will happen any time soon, so the University needs to do the latter. They need to implement what the students want, and right now, the students want all-day breakfast.

Zach Leach can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter at @ZachLeach12.