What happened to Taco Bell?

Students and staff who regularly eat in the Corbett Center food court may have noticed that at the beginning of the year, Taco Bell was no longer an option when choosing where to eat. The popular fast food chain was replaced with ‘Tres Habaneros’, Sodexo’s latest addition to the Corbett Center food court.

According to Sodexo Marketing Coordinator, John Rivers, the removal of Taco Bell and the addition of Tres Habaneros to the Corbett Center was purely a business decision.

“Sodexo and NMSU made a joint business decision to remove Taco Bell from Corbett Center,” Rivers said. “The decision was based upon data taken from multiple perspectives with students in mind. Rivers described the findings of the data, suggesting that students preferred food from restaurants like Chipotle as opposed to Taco Bell.

Rivers described the findings of the data, suggesting that students preferred food from restaurants like Chipotle, the popular modern twist to Mexican food done prepared via a quick and customer friendly assembly line based model, as opposed to Taco Bell.

“Data showed that students wanted food from restaurants like Chipotle, however, we can’t always get certain restaurants on campus.” Rivers said. “So we came up with a concept to fit the new data.” Tres Habaneros is Sodexo’s attempt to not only replace Taco Bell within Corbett Center but an attempt to give students what data suggested they want.

Despite this, Tres Habaneros isn’t unique to NMSU. Colleges across the United States that work with Sodexo also have Tres Habaneros as a restaurant option. “Tres Habaneros is a Sodexo concept that NMSU selected to best fit the needs of students on campus,” said Rivers. Universities like Colorado Mesa University, University of Albany and many others all feature Tres Habaneros.

This is not the first time that Sodexo and NMSU have replaced a third party restaurant to one that is mainly operated and menu derived from Sodexo. In the Summer of 2016, the school eliminated local favorite Blake’s Lot-A-Burger restaurant which was housed inside of Gerald Thomas Hall on the southern end of campus for the Aggie Grill restaurant.

Tres Habaneros’ menu is simplistic with entrée options listed by ingredients rather than whole units. Because of Tres Habaneros’ diverse list of ingredients all food items are made to order specifically for the customer. This system of listing entrées by ingredients is similar to restaurant chains like Chipotle.

“I think it’s good!” Doug Lunsford, a NMSU freshman, said. “You can make your own burritos and tacos, and it was pretty quick too.”

Despite the change, Lunsford says he is fine with this latest switch-up by the University. “I think [Tres Habaneros’] is more authentic than Taco Bell, and it’s just better.”

For more information about Tres Habaneros menu, visit the Corbett Center food court, or go to  https://nmsudining.sodexomyway.com/dining-choices/food_court.html.

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