Anika Riley

(Rock Hill, S.C.) — The Winthrop University Dining Services team has made an effort this school year to get students excited and involved in the culinary experience with a rotating menu of special “pop-up” items.

The pop-ups feature a variety of foods — including seafood, pasta, hamburgers and wings — on rotating, limited-time menus that occur about twice a month at both dining locations on campus.

Retail manager O’Bryan Warren organizes the events by utilizing student feedback to create the latest menu items.

“I try to do things that I hope the students would like,” said Warren. “So, most of the events we do, we base off feedback that we get from the students and anything new that we want to just try.”

A recent “billionaire burgers” pop-up, which featured half-pound hamburgers and hot dogs that are not typically available the The Grill in Markley’s, was well received, according to dining staff.

Marketing specialist Aba Hutchison said Dining Services uses social media to promote the events.

“It helps us keep the surprise factor of the pop-ups, instead of it having to be traditional marketing,” said Hutchison. “We can build the hype so quickly, because we worked so hard to build a following on our social media with over 1,400 followers.”

Hutchison has been active over the past year on the Dining Services Instagram account, by informing the Winthrop community about upcoming culinary plans.

She said students are able to provide feedback on the Instagram page, by voting for their favorite pop-up items, with the goal of improving student engagement and satisfaction.

The pop-ups are becoming so frequent they now have a designated space called Eagle Spot that features the limited-time menu options.