As the opening of the West Union has increased the number of food options on campus, some managers of other eateries said that their business has slowed. 

Au Bon Pain and The Loop both reported less student traffic so far this year. Justin Sutherland, general manager at Au Bon Pain, said that their number of customers has decreased by half, while Nick Monday, general manager at The Loop, declined to reveal specific figures. However, both managers said they believe that this downturn will be temporary. 

"We knew it was going to take a hit simply because of all the other options," Sutherland said. 

Monday agreed with Sutherland's statement and noted that he expects to gain some of his patronage back over time. 

“It looks really great over there. I’ve had some of the food, and it’s competition, but I feel pretty confident that we’ll bounce back after the newness wears off," Monday said. 

Seniors Tina Liang and Sakura Takahashi said that they continue to eat at The Loop because they are more familiar with their options.

"I come here for the milkshakes," Liang said. "And the mac-and-cheese bites. Those are really good."

Junior Michael Schroeder noted that he appreciates how the line at The Loop is shorter now that West Union is open. 

In response to the opening of the new venues, the more established vendors on West Campus are making new efforts to attract customers against the new competition. Both managers noted that they face limitations and must adhere to corporate guidelines; however, that has not stopped them from getting creative with specials.

Monday noted that The Loop will continue its delivery service that runs from 8:30 p.m. to midnight each day, with the intent of catering to students after the West Union’s eateries close. It will deliver to dorms and libraries on West Campus, as well as the area around the Bryan Center. 

“We’re hoping [this delivery service] will really help out with sales,” Monday said.

Sutherland explained that Au Bon Pain has introduced smoothies to its menu since it relocated to the basement of West Union. They are also running a new back-to-school promotion with a frequency card that offers students a free espresso drink for every ten purchased.

The managers at both eateries said they anticipate that traffic will soon rebound, in part due to their lasting appeal. Sutherland noted that breakfast continues to be a major source of sales for Au Bon Pain, along with its grab-and-go options. He also said that its speed of service allows it to outpace most of its rivals. 

Monday noted that The Loop will stick to its "own style" and maintain their brand. 

“We’re optimistic, we’re gonna make sure that everyone leaves the restaurant happy and that they want to come back," Monday said.