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Smoothie machine makes a splash in the RoMa dining hall

Smoothie Machine

The new smoothie machine in the RoMa dining hall.

Mary Ma / The Daily Princetonian

As the first days of class brought the semester into full swing, patrons of the Rocky-Mathey Dining Hall encountered a sweet new addition to the servery: the dining hall’s new smoothie machine. The machine, which serves fruit flavored ice drinks during breakfast hours, was installed over the University’s winter break and began operation during Wintersession.

The machine has functioned somewhat inconsistently in the weeks since its introduction — in particular, the consistent availability of smoothies has presented as an issue. Michael Gattis, Executive Chef of RoMa dining hall, wrote to The Daily Princetonian that the consistent operation of the machine is a “work in progress” as the dining hall team is still learning how to use the machine. 


The RoMa dining hall is the sole campus dining hall that serves smoothies from a machine, although other dining halls occasionally serve smoothies from pitchers or bowls. The bottled Tico's smoothies sold at Frist Gallery cost students their entire late meal allowance of $9.50. Beverages from the new machine, which ‘cost’ only a dining hall swipe, may be more attractive to price-concerned smoothie seekers.

The smoothie machine replaced the soda machine on the Mathey College side of the dining hall, which was one of two soda machines in the entire shared dining hall; its counterpart on the Rockefeller College side remains intact. In an email to the ‘Prince,’ Gattis shared that dining hall staff had noticed a drop off in demand for the soda machine and were ordering “significantly less” soda syrup than in the past. The dining team decided to replace it with the smoothie machine as part of an “effort to reduce sugar and provide healthy options,” according to Gattis.

Although labeled as a smoothie machine, the new equipment resembles a slushie machine, with two drums full of ice and fruit juice, and a central turbine that maintains the smoothie mixture’s consistency. Mango and strawberry flavors are currently offered, but according to Gattis, more flavors are coming soon. He wrote that the juice is “all-natural, clean-label, and on trend.” 

Like the beverages the smoothie machine serves, student reactions to the addition were mixed.

Dylan Bissonette ’26 said that the removal of the soda machine was frustrating. His main complaint is the lack of ice on the Mathey side of the dining hall, which forces him to go “to the Rocky side to get ice and then go all the way back to the Mathey side” when he makes iced coffee in the morning. 

Other students have had a more positive reception to the machine. Thomas Emens ’25 said, “It made my day better when I came in [for breakfast],” though he did raise concerns that the machine does not always work.


For Gattis, the smoothie machine reflects campus dining’s ongoing efforts to serve and connect with students, staff, and other patrons of the RoMa dining hall. Regarding future expansions of RoMa services, Gattis told the ‘Prince,’ “Campus dining is like a surging river, always moving, ever changing, carving new pathways,” and that they are “keeping [their] fingers on the pulse of the food industry.”

Vitus Larrieu is a News contributor and head Podcast editor for the ‘Prince.’

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