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Stu­dents wait in line in antic­i­pation of Old Snack Bar grand opening.
Courtesy | Benito Suero

This Tuesday, Bon Appeitit hosted a grand opening for the Charger Cafe from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Old Snack Bar. The new cafe, which replaced the pre­vious grab ‘n’ go system, is a fully autonomous mini-mart. 

At the event, stu­dents and faculty were able to take up to $20 worth of food at no charge, as well as enjoy com­pli­mentary donuts and coffee. 

“I was excited, I was exu­berant, I was filled with joy and love,” sophomore Christopher Dick said. “I sprinted from A.J.’s to OSB as soon as someone told me about it.”

Dick was not the only student excited by the free food. According to Benito Suero Jr., the grand opening attracted more than 400 students. 

“We really wanted to bring the cafe out to the fore­front and expose it to the masses,” Suero said. “That is why we opened it up for everyone to try on us for a few hours.” 

Although the cafe has already been open for two weeks, Suero said Bon Appetit only just had the grand opening so that they were able to ensure every­thing ran smoothly. 

He added that the cafe serves two purposes. 

“It gives the stu­dents a much higher degree of ability to get food during off hours and it also caters to the Dow Center,” Suero said. “Before, anyone staying at the Dow had no food option unless they wanted to eat in the Union. Now they have the ability to go down the hall and grab a quick bite.”

The cafe is open until 2 a.m. and offers stu­dents and vis­itors a unique selection of meals than they can buy else­where on campus. Some of the new food items include a variety of energy bars, hummus, and breakfast burritos. 

The new cafe also has two microwaves. 

“I’m so glad we finally have microwaves on campus,” sophomore Jacqueline Robarge said. 

“I was working on an assignment late at night in the Old Snack Bar and had microwave popcorn with me, but no microwave. I thought I’d have to go all the way across campus to pop it, but then my friend showed me that there was one right there.” 

Robarge was also impressed by the quality of the microwaves. 

“They had dials instead of buttons. I’d never seen a microwave with a dial before. It’s a sign of a well made machine.” 

Unlike A.J.’s and Cafe Fresco, Charger Cafe is fully autonomous. Stu­dents use the kiosk located to the right of the cafe to make their purchases 

“It’s basi­cally a self-check out,” said sophomore Clare Berghaus, who has used the new system. “You type in the item that you want, and it shows you the price. After you buy it, it prints out a receipt.” 

Although Suero said there are security cameras located in the cafe, he isn’t worried about theft. 

Unlike A.J.’s and Cafe Fresco, Charger Cafe is fully autonomous. Stu­dents use the kiosk located to the right of the cafe to make their purchases 

“It’s basi­cally a self-check out,” said sophomore Clare Berghaus, who has used the new system. “You type in the item that you want, and it shows you the price. After you buy it, it prints out a receipt.” 

Although Suero said there are security cameras located in the cafe, he isn’t worried about theft. 

“Hillsdale’s Honor Code is very important, and I really appre­ciate that,” he said. “I don’t antic­ipate there being any issues.” 

The cafe cur­rently accepts debit, credit, and Apple Pay, as well as a bio­metric option. 

“The kiosk allows you to open your own account that you or your parents can fund and later access using bio­metrics, which is your fin­ger­print or a scan card,” Suero said. “Let’s say you want to buy a Coke. You can scan your finger right on the machine and it will take the money right out of your account.”

“I’m kinda bummed that I can’t use my liberty bucks yet,” Berghaus said, “but I’m glad they finally brought food back to the Old Snack Bar. It’s much better than grab-and-go.”