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Smashburger to replace Burger King in LaFortune Student Center

| Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The 18-year reign of Burger King in LaFortune Student Center will soon come to a close.

Starting next fall, a Smashburger will open in its place, Notre Dame Campus Dining, Student Government and Student Activities Facilities announced early Wednesday morning.

This decision was made in response to student feedback — gathered through surveys, focus groups and Student Government’s online forum, Onward.

“The student feedback we received throughout the multiple focus group sessions beginning in December of 2014 helped us collectively identify what brands fit in the retail dining portfolio,” Chris Abayasinghe, director of Campus Dining, said. “… We looked to bring in a new and exciting brand — and selected Smashburger.”

The project has been in the works for the past two years, Abayasinghe said, and stemmed from student feedback asking for premium options for burgers, chicken and salads on campus.

Construction on Smashburger — a national fast-food chain and serves burgers, chicken, salads, sides and milkshakes — will begin immediately following Commencement weekend this May. The restaurant’s opening date is set for the beginning of the new academic year.

Junior Erica Tabor, Student Government director of communications, said administrators and student leaders considered a variety of alternative restaurants to replace Burger King.

“What I am most proud of — and what I think is a good reflection of the mission of our Executive Board — is that our aim was to accurately represent and serve the student body,” she said. “I think this is a good beginning to our term and sets a precedence that we are working on improving communication between students and administration, and continuing positive change in our Notre Dame community.”

In student feedback, Tabor said she noticed a significant number of students asking for new or improved campus dining options and hours.

“We are extremely excited to bring Smashburger to LaFortune,” she said. “Their mission emphasizes fresh, wholesome and natural ingredients, which is moving toward a healthier option of burgers than others often offered on college campuses.”

Abayasinghe said Campus Dining is planning to implement more changes and initiatives at Notre Dame in the near future.

“We’re planning the North Dining Hall renovation, a number of new restaurants for the Duncan Student Center and renovations into select restaurants currently on campus,” he said.

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About Katie Galioto

Katie, the Observer's current Managing Editor, is a senior majoring in political science, with minors in Business Economics and Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. She's a former Walsh Hall resident who now lives off campus and hails from Chanhassen, Minnesota. Follow her on Twitter @katiegalioto.

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