HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The Hunter Army Airfield Warrior Restaurant near Savannah, Georgia, has experienced a nearly 600% increase in diners following a full-scale renovation that included all new furniture via a contract awarded by the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville’s Furnishings Program.
The contract, valued at $351,000, provided the dining facility with a variety of seating options such as private nooks, window seating, lounge areas, and high-top tables with stools in conjunction with standard dining tables and seating, said Stephanie Hardin, Furnishings project manager.
The aim was to create a more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing environment for customers, most of which are soldiers assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division, said Sgt. 1st Class Gerrick C. Smith II, the warrior restaurant manager assigned to the 287th Quartermaster Company.
“The Army plans to modernize all of its dining facilities with a college-campus dining concept, but we were chosen to pilot it, so for now, this is the only one of its kind,” Smith said. “We’re just glad to be able to offer this level of dining experience to soldiers.”
Prior to the Warrior Restaurant’s grand reopening in April, the facility saw an average of only 50 customers per meal.
“Our utilization rate has gone up immensely since then,” he said. “Sometimes, we’re over 500 people at one meal, but on a regular basis, it’s closer to 300. Huntsville Center played a big part in that.”
The remodel, which also included food trucks, “grab-n-go” kiosks, and made-to-order meal stations, stems from the Army’s readiness and modernization priorities that were codified in July 2019 when the Army revised Army Regulation (AR) 30-22, the Army Food Modernization Program.
The program’s overall objective is to field a modernized culinary service program that meets Soldier’s needs and desires.
For more information about Huntsville Center’s Furnishing Program, visit https://www.hnc.usace.army.mil/Media/Fact-Sheets/Fact-Sheet-Article-View/Article/1910931/facilities-division-furnishings-program/.