The dining complex located inside the University of Oregon’s new residence hall is set to open Sept. 20 as part of the Hamilton-Walton Transformation Project currently under construction.
UO designed the Pacific Northwest Public Market to seat 500 people, featuring nine new venues, including a full-service sit down restaurant, and housing is planning on bringing more employees on board.
University dining services is holding hiring fairs to fill student positions on May 21 and 22 in the Global Scholars Great Room. Students can also apply online in an application that reaches all dining venues on campus.
“In a typical year, campus dining employs over 700 student employees,” Director of Dining Services Tom Driscoll said. “As we move beyond COVID-19, we are planning to get back to this level.”
The Pacific Northwest Public Market will be home to nine locally and globally inspired venues. The venues will serve PNW-influenced ramen and bao, classic Indian cuisine, hearth-baked pizza and more. The complex will also hold a grab-and-go style grocery store, deli and cafe, similar to some of the existing dining halls.
Duck’s House, an Oregon sports-themed venue inside the complex, will be a full-service restaurant serving classic American food along with beer, wine and ciders. While this venue is logistically different from the usual counter-service ones, they’ll accept points and DuckBucks as well as credit and debit cards.
“Logistically, the customer experience will be different than typical counter service in that customers won’t come to a counter to order,” Driscoll said. “Instead, they can order at the table and food will be delivered to the table.”
Since the start of the pandemic, UO has needed to lay off staff members; some chose not to return to campus for safety reasons. This brings University Dining Services to about 50% of pre-COVID-19 staffing levels.
“We are anticipating an amazing fall term and we are gearing up to be back at full staffing capacity by September,” Driscoll said.
UO junior Elizabeth Alvarrez worked at Fresh Marketcafé located inside Global Scholars Hall before the pandemic began. In the fall, she’ll return to campus and is applying for a student dining position again, hoping to be placed in the Pacific Northwest Public Market.
“Working on campus is pretty chill because a lot of your co-workers are other students and management is good about working with your class schedule,” she said. “The new location looks like it's going to have a lot of cool spots.”
Staff for the new dining complex will begin training in August, Driscoll said. Training will be mostly in person and hands on, allowing student employees to learn the ropes of everything from culinary arts to customer service. Housing will also have a number of classified positions posted soon, including cooks, lead staff, bakers and management positions.
Classified employees can work full-time, while students are only able to work up to 25 hours each week. Students must be enrolled in 8 credit hours to be considered a student employee. Non-UO students, including Lane County Community College and eligible high school students, can work in the dining halls under these terms as well, but priority is given to UO students.
Housing management has been reaching out to current student employees about work opportunities during the summer, hoping to fill some positions in the new complex, but all students who are interested in on-campus jobs are encouraged to apply online or attend the job fairs later this month.