Burge eliminates hot breakfast, in need of chefs as classes begin

University of Iowa Housing and Dining is adjusting Burge Market Place’s menu to compensate for a low number of chefs.


Tate Hildyard

A Burge Market Place worker serves a line of students on Monday, August 26th, 2020. Due to health and safety regulations as a means of preventing the spread of COVID-19, the dining hall process has been streamlined with an advanced registration process and a takeout meal process.

Archie Wagner, News Reporter

Burge Market Place at the University of Iowa is eliminating hot breakfast options while University Housing and Dining searches for chefs to cook for students this fall.

In a campuswide email sent on Aug. 12 to students, University Housing and Dining announced the previous hot food options — such as pancakes, waffles, eggs, potatoes, and bacon — will no longer be available.

Jill Irvin, director of university dining, wrote in an email to The Daily Iowan that staffing shortages are continuing to hinder daily operations.

“The reason we made the changes at Burge are that staffing shortages continue to be an issue nationally and locally following the pandemic,” Irvin wrote.

With fewer employees at UI Housing and Dining going into the 2022-23 school year, Irvin wrote that hot breakfast service was also removed to match student employee’s schedules. 

“We are pleased to have three marketplaces and many retail locations across campus that provide timely, diverse, and nutritious meals,” she wrote. “These hours may change throughout the semester.”  

Burge Market Place made the switch from reusable to paper plates because of staffing shortages as previously reported by The Daily Iowan. 

Wren De Haan, a first year in Stanley Residence Hall, said he found only a cold, stale bagel upon going to Burge Market Place for grab-and-go breakfast. 

“I went there my first time using a dining hall, and the quality of the food wasn’t what I expected, so I’ve been reluctant to go back for other meals as well,” De Haan said. 

But not all students are frustrated with Burge’s cold packaged food offerings.

Calvin Mansel, a UI first-year resident of Stanley Residence Hall, said the change in Burge is convenient and a positive for his dining experience. 

Mansel said he uses his newfound time by grabbing cold options for studying and socializing since there is no more waiting in line to find a seat. 

“The lack of warm food is easily overshadowed by the plethora of pre-packaged goods on offer, which any student is free to take with them to either store in their dorms or consume at their leisure as they go about the day,” Mansel said.