BGSU Dining releases Starship delivery robot details, plans for Starbucks renovation


Starship showcased a model of its delivery robot to USG senators at Monday’s assembly.

Hunter Huffman and Hunter Huffman

BGSU Dining Director Mike Paulus disclosed new information on the Starship delivery robots that have recently appeared on campus and the tentative Starbucks renovation — including a rebranding of the Black Swamp Pub and Bistro — during Monday’s Undergraduate Student Senate assembly.

According to Paulus, the Starship robots, marking their ninth launch on a college campus, will deliver from the following locations at BGSU:

Delivery will be paid via debit/credit, Falcon Dollars, BG1 Bucks or Venmo. The robots will take 30 minutes on average to complete an order. Thirty robots, which Paulus said can accommodate 500 orders per day, are currently stored at the university.

The robots will be restricted to campus grounds and are inaccessible to button-operated crosswalks and elevators. If students order food from a dorm, the robots will arrive in the lobby of the building for pick-up via the Starship mobile app

Paulus said university representatives observed the robots in operation at the University of Houston and the University of Texas at Dallas.

“It was flawless,” he said.

Addressing USG senators’ concerns regarding job losses due to the robots, Paulus said they will create increased opportunities. He mentioned that Starship is seeking a robot technician and handlers who will monitor and troubleshoot deliveries throughout the robots’ hours of operation.

Paulus was unable to disclose a specific launch date, but mentioned they will be on campus “very soon.”

“Keep an eye on your email,” he said.

In addition, Paulus provided an update on the Starbucks renovation in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union. He said Dining Services will seek approval from the Board of Trustees this Friday to move Starbucks to the location of Black Swamp. If approved, the pub will permanently close May 16, and demolition of the space will commence shortly after. During this time, the current Starbucks location would continue operation.

“We are fully-license franchising. That requires us every 10 years in our contract to mandatory refresh that space. … As we’re moving to the 10-year mark in our contract, I started looking at the existing space — the queuing, the in-availability of us bringing some of the market Starbucks has,” Paulus said. “So I asked (Starbucks), I want everything. I want mobile ordering, I want nitro (coffee), give me everything you can.”

Under this plan, the new location would open by Aug. 14. During the 2020 winter break, the current Starbucks would be demolished and transformed into a new computer lab, and the current computer lab in the BTSU would be demolished, reopened and renamed “Pub 1910” in February 2021.

“We still need an ala carte service. I need a hard facility — an address — to hang our liquor license if I’m to continue liquor sales in my catering department,” Paulus said.

He wants the location to operate as a gastropub and said five BGSU alumni who operate brewhouses would sell their drinks at the pub and teach microbrewing techniques at the Oaks Teaching Kitchen.

“The service format’s gonna be like a food hall. We’re going to limit full-wait staff,” he said. “I need to scale back the costs of the operation because I want to lower the price points in the pub.”

In addition, Paulus wants the new pub to implement self-serve kiosks, which were recently added to Steak ‘n Shake in the BTSU. He said these changes will result in “no job losses” due to the increase of the pub’s capacity.

“We need bodies,” he said.

Black Swamp Pub and Bistro

Market locations

Falcon’s Nest