Erbert & Gerbert’s to close indefinitely


Brina S

A closed sign at the Erbert & Gerbert’s location in the Jack’s C-Store.

Mara Wheaton, Asst. News Editor

The Erbert & Gerbert’s sandwich shop located in the Larson C-Store is temporarily closing due to an industry-wide staffing shortage. It was announced to employees that the E&G location will halt business shortly. As of right now, this closure is temporary, but there is no specific date of when the sandwich shop will be back in business on the South Dakota State University campus. 

Doug Wermedal, associate vice president of Student Affairs, said that the university has been functioning with reduced personnel for the past six months, now going on seven. He said it’s about evaluating what staff they have available and deciding what they can offer with that staff. 

Ally Ercink, sophomore Aramark worker, said she didn’t see this closure coming because E&G is usually a busy dining location on campus. Ercink got about a week’s notice on the closure and was told that she would be relocated to a different restaurant on campus. 

Although E&G won’t be available on campus for a limited time, Wermedal said that the university is working with an independent contractor, Bix, to deliver fresh sandwiches to both the Hanson and Larson C-Store locations. This service will provide pre-made sandwiches instead of a build-your-own approach, and will eventually become an option on the Transact app.

SDSU may be losing a popular dining location, but there are some exciting new food options in the works. July 1, SDSU will be transitioning to a new food service provider, Sodexo. 

“They (Sodexo) do have a couple of plans that I think should help mitigate the impact,” Wermedal said.  “One of their innovations is a pizza vending machine. It is a machine that will not be requiring us to have a team of staff that’s able to produce pizza and sell it in the personal individual-sized servings.” 

 Wermedal also mentioned a service that is similar to a food truck but smaller called a tuk tuk truck. 

 “It’s almost like a three-wheeled bicycle, but the center part is a large food unit and we’re going to offer a couple of those on campus,” Wermedal said. “Again, you’re dealing with a premade item that’s kept warm and offered with a minimum of staffing necessary. Then those will go to locations where we maybe don’t have retail heavy environments. So that’ll help spread that out a little bit. So, there’ll be some opportunities like that.”

 Wermedal said he is confident that the Starship robots have helped keep students out of lines and helped with staffing needs. The workers who load the Starship robots are Starship employees and are not taking away from the foodservice personnel. 

 Wermedal said taking a step like closing E&G helps keep other central and high traffic dining options open.

 “Students don’t have anything to worry about because those folks will be reallocated to keeping other sites open,” Wermedal said.

“I’m just thrilled that it’s darn near spring break, or at least you can see it from here. It’s the first time we’re really talking about having to modify that service and again, not going away but not the same service that we want to offer,” Wermedal said.