USC Hospitality announced that The Habit will replace Carl’s Jr., located in the Ronald Tutor Campus Center, in January. A smaller fast food chain, The Habit is known for its “charburgers.”
“We’re always looking for healthier alternatives,” Kris Klinger, director of USC Hospitality, said. “It’s a balancing act. In the dining halls, we took away chicken nugget Tuesdays and students had a revolt. We want to offer students healthy alternatives but also make sure we give them choices and selections.”
The Habit won’t be the only new option on campus next year. Nekter Juice Bar is also expected to come to USC at the Shop Café located in the School of Architecture. Nekter serves all-natural, raw, vegan juices and smoothies.
“I’ve never heard of [Nekter] but I’m excited to try it out,” said Ani Misirian, a junior majoring in neuroscience. “It definitely sounds healthier than some of the options we have including sugar-laden Starbucks and Coffee Beans that I rely on too much during finals. I’d definitely be willing to check it out as long as the juice is within my price range.”
Klinger said part of the reasoning behind bringing in two lesser-known chains was to give students not only healthier options, but also less common ones.
“Our goal is to offer students what they want and to stay ahead or at least with the trend,” Klinger said. “We believe that USC is a great place and want to enhance the student experience by offering unique dining options.”
Many students were enthusiastic about the upcoming changes.
“I’m really excited because The Habit is a healthier, more appealing option,” said Amanda Ciozda, a senior majoring in biological sciences and neuroscience. “The taste is much better than Carl’s Jr.”
Unlike Carl’s Jr., a chain with locations around the world, The Habit is exclusive to the western United States. The current owners bought the first one in Goleta, Calif. Currently there are 90 locations, 81 of which are in California. The other nine are in Utah and Arizona.
“I’m excited about the change because I think it’ll give students a refreshing change in selection when it comes to dining at the Campus Center,” Misirian said. “I personally really enjoy going to The Habit back home [in Glendale, Calif.] so it’d be nice to go at school. I don’t think it’s necessarily healthier because they’re both fast food options but personally, I prefer the taste of Habit more, especially their onion rings.”
Not all students, however, agreed on the health benefits of the new burger joint.
“Personally I don’t think this change will affect me much because it’s still fast food,” said Harmony Huynh, a senior majoring in biological sciences and neuroscience. “The only places I go at the Campus Center are Lemonade and Seeds because they have salads and other healthier alternatives. It’d be nice if they brought something like Lemonade.”
Others believed that The Habit, whose slogan is “There’s No Substitute For Quality,” will prove to be healthier than Carl’s Jr.
“I don’t eat fast food too much and I’ve never been to The Habit but I’m willing to try it because it sounds healthier,” said Elaine Ying, a senior majoring in linguistics and psychology.
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