Oct 142003
 
Authors: Taylour Nelson

It’s late.

The bars have closed, the parties are over and some hungry

students are in search if one thing: food.

Late night eating has become a unique feature of college towns.

Restaurants stay open until the early morning hours to try to cater

to the masses who decide to go out to eat as late as 3 a.m.

“On the weekends, from midnight to 3 a.m., we’re just as busy as

the dinner rush,” said Lucas Manzaneres, a manager at Black Jack

pizza.

Students are able to order pizza, sandwiches and Chinese food to

be delivered late at night and fast food restaurants now have ‘late

night’ drive thru times.

Alisha Arnold, a waitress at the International House of

Pancakes, explains her theory on the late night rush.

“A good percentage of the students come here to study,” she

said. “It’s a different atmosphere than the dorms or the library.

Some people come and get coffee and study all night.”

On the weekends, Arnold does admit to waiting on those

intoxicated students who stop in for some food before heading home

for the night.

“We do get a lot of the drunk people,” she said. “But I think

its because we’re so close to downtown.”

Most of the customers who come in on the 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. shift

at IHOP are the age of students.

“They’re usually 19 to 27-year-olds,” Arnold said.

Derek Stillman, a freshman open option major and three of his

friends sat in one of the blue plastic booths at IHOP at 11:30 on

Monday night eating breakfast eggs and ice cream. They had just

returned from a flag football game.

“We come here about once a week,” Stillman said. “When you’re

hungry, it’s better than dorm food.”

Eating late into the night has been known to cause a drop in

metabolism, which can cause weight gain. But this may not be true

for everyone, said Shirley Perryman, a food and nutrition

specialist in the food science and human nutrition department.

“If it’s on an occasional basis, it’s not a big deal,” she

said.

Depending on the person’s eating habits throughout the day,

eating late at night is not always a bad idea.

“Its an issue of looking at the total caloric intake for the

day,” Perryman said. “You shouldn’t eat what you normally would

during the day and also eat at night.”

Students who eat late at night based on hectic schedules are not

as susceptible to gaining weight as those who eat out of

boredom.

“Eating late because you’re staying up late is usually because

(eating) is something to do, not because you’re hungry,” Perryman

said. “(Students) don’t usually need food, it’s a social thing,

something to do.”

Still, students are crowding places like Qdoba, Taco Bell and

Wendy’s at 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights after their parties

and social events.

“There’s always a good story every weekend,” said Cindy Furtado,

a student and employee who occasionally works the night shift at

the Qdoba on Elizabeth Street.

Customers arrive until the restaurant closes at 3 a.m. on

weekend nights. Most of them are intoxicated, Furtado said.

“You don’t realize how stupid people are until they’re drunk,”

she said as she helped a giggling customer with her order.

Her co-worker, Matt Whitehead agreed, “They’re a pain in the

ass. Drunk people are hard to deal with because they’re loud and

disrespectful.”

He added that the sober late night customers are easier to

serve.

“The people who aren’t drunk are super cool,” Whitehead

said.

Furtado surveyed the scene of hungry customers at Qdoba Saturday

night. She shook her head and nodded towards the crowd.

“We should be getting paid a lot more than we do.”

 

 

 

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