Students returning to NMU this semester may have noticed a few changes at the on-campus Mexican restaurant Fieras.
The restaurant, located in the lower level of the Learning Resource Center, now offers over 30 items and includes a fixed menu, fresh in-house made ingredients and quicker service than previous semesters.
Associate Director of Retail Operations Paul Schoonveld said the changes came from a student demand for more concrete combinations.
“The main thing we were trying to accomplish is that it seems that more and more people want to come to a restaurant and have an option that’s already put together, something that you don’t have to guess,” Schoonveld said.
“In the past you would have to build your own burrito but if you’re not a regular burrito eater you might now know what combination of ingredients to put together,” Schoonveld said. “So we thought it would make a lot more sense and there’s a lot more value in coming in and saying these are tried and true recipes.”
Schoonveld said the menu changes are not a revamp as much as a menu expansion for Fieras.
“There are still others that like to make their own so we didn’t want to take that away,” Schoonveld said. “All the things that were on the previous menu are still basically there.”
For the past year and a half, Dining Services has been changing the way they are serving up its products, according to Schoonveld, who said they are doing so by bringing higher quality ingredients and products to campus.
“We’re trying to make as many salsas in house and house marinated meats [as possible],” Schoonveld said. “We’re minimizing the amount of processed items on our menu.”
The new menu not only gives a variety of choices for students but has also had a positive impact on the production speed of the restaurant.
“For anybody that went there last year, I think we had exceptional products on the menu but we were much slower,” Schoonveld said. “Because students were walking that burrito down the line not really knowing what to put in there, we were giving suggestions constantly.
“Now that it’s a fixed menu, we are able to produce those much faster. So although there’s a long line, it’s going quickly and you get your food much quicker than last year.”
Senior accounting major and supervisor at Feiras Jon Hill said the changes throughout Fieras has helped make it a better operation, not only for the students but also for the workers.
“Now that we’ve gotten used to it we don’t have to ask students what they want,” Hill said. “We can just go through the recipes and get it out to them.”
Hill said there’s only been positive responses to the menu expansion.
“(Students) like it, they still have the build-their-own options, and we have our own specialty items that are stepping up,” Hill said.
According to Hill, new and returning students have plenty of choices when it comes to getting a new favorite menu item this semester.
“Our most popular items on the menu by far have been the chipotle quesadilla and burritos, a lot of people have liked them so far,” Hill said.
Students can visit Fieras 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 10am-2pm Friday.
A full menu of Fieras with health and neutrition facts is also available online at www.nmu.edu/dining.