The Chief ‘Tester’: Starbucks is a welcome jolt of caffeine

By Nadine Tester

Rider made a lot of changes over the summer. Between revised policies and residence hall renovations, it may be hard to discern what is new and what is old. However, I know that a lot of students have noticed the new food additions in Cranberry’s, the Student Recreation Center (SRC) and in the Bronc Diner.

In the SRC, a brand new Starbucks replaces the Kaplan Express — a little hole in the wall that sold shady-looking sandwiches and drinks. Now, I’ll admit as much as I drink coffee and need it to stay alive, I don’t like Starbucks coffee. It’s always been too strong for me and I’ve just never been interested in coffee as a form of art, adding a shot of this and a flavor burst of that.

On top of that, Starbucks is a little too pricey, not only for my wallet but also for the budget of most cash-strapped college students. It’s just coffee, after all — you can get a never-ending cup at IHOP for $1.50. That said, I think I may be spending the majority of my Bronc Bucks in the SRC. This is hypocritical, but let me explain. The Rider Starbucks is slightly cheaper than Starbucks on the outside, and on top of this, I’m not paying cash — it’s part of my meal plan. Also, Rider’s Starbucks makes up for the astounding lack of coffee at the Bronc Diner.

This Starbucks is also not just a little hole in the wall; it’s actually really cozy. There are more than enough workers (about five when I went), and they are all really friendly and get you exactly what you want, even when you don’t know what you’re talking about. Pardon me, but I’ll eventually get the hang of saying, “I’ll have a tall non-fat double latte with soy milk and an extra shot of vanilla.”

Starbucks’ hours are also really convenient; they open early in the morning on weekdays and close late at night (Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m. to midnight; Saturday-Sunday 4 p.m. to midnight). So even though Starbucks wouldn’t be my first choice of coffee off campus, on campus, it’s pretty convenient for getting your caffeine rush on the go.

Convenience was the idea when Rider installed kiosks in the Bronc Diner and Cranberry’s. The kiosks are made so that you can order your food beforehand, with any special requests, and get your food faster. One of the things that I like about the kiosks is that you can actually see what you’re ordering. There is a graphic for almost every sandwich and pasta dish in Cranberry’s, which cuts down on decision time. I know that I only eat things that are appealing to my eyes. Also, for people who need to have everything specially ordered, the kiosks may be helpful.

I’ve heard so many bad things about the kiosks, mainly that they are really slow. However, I think that the key to the kiosks doing their job is time. Workers aren’t used to the new technology, especially during the rushes. For a while, it may hurt more than help, but they’re a start for getting your food faster.

At least Rider is trying.

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