Officials at Western Illinois University announced Thursday that popular fast food restaurant Chick-fil-A would be coming to the WIU-Macomb campus.
Chick-fil-A, "the home of the original chicken sandwich," will open on campus during the 2018 fall semester, with the grand opening of the "express" version of the restaurant set for mid-Fall 2018, according to John Biernbaum, associate vice president for student services-University Housing and Dining Services (UHDS).
The newest line up in the University Union Food Court will replace Sbarro, which closed at the end of the 2017 spring semester. The renovation of the former Sbarro site is funded by a donation from Sodexo, which, along with UHDS, will oversee Chick-fil-A Express on the WIU campus, stated officials.
"We are excited to continue to invest in Western, and to provide another food choice that our students and members of our campus and local communities have asked for," said Kay Martin, Sodexo senior vice president-universities. "Chick-fil-A is one of the largest quick-service restaurant chains in the country. It is a financially sound company that will add even greater value to the University Union and our food service offerings."
Biernbaum explained the university’s five-year contract with Sbarro is set to end this summer, and that got the ball rolling for UHDS and Sodexo to begin looking at other franchise opportunities. Per the current agreement with Sbarro, WIU could not house another pizza-related franchise in the Union for one year. This led to an in-depth look at what students were eating in the residence hall dining center, what they were asking for in terms of other food choices on campus, peer institutions within the state, as well as the space available to house a new franchisee.
The hours will be determined once the renovations are complete.
Along with Chick-fil-A, the Union Food Court also features Burger King, Einstein Bros. Bagels and the One Stop Rocky Shop.