Disclosure: This article is written in mind with the intention of helping first-year students and Zoca virgins order correctly.
As most of you know, the first floor of DeNaples is home to Zoca, one of the many dining establishments at The University. Zoca is often viewed as the ugly, unintelligent and unloved sibling of Chipotle (the Elizabeth Olsen, Stephen Baldwin, Matthew Prendergast, Michael Kutcher, if you will). While its food may be mediocre, it is still important to know the correct steps to ordering properly.
Everyone who avidly orders Zoca knows there is a proper way to order. While the majority of people on campus do know the correct procedure for ordering, there are some who do not. It is for this reason I thought that I would outline my approach.
I remember being berated by one of the employees my first year and the memory still haunts me. I know I am not alone in this experience and have witnessed dozens of cases this year alone. I caught up with Jake Kanavy, a junior, who shared his horror experience from his first year with me.
“I still remember it like it was yesterday. I asked for pico before ground beef and all of a sudden I was being yelled at. After that it was all a blur. I do remember breaking down in tears and running back to my dorm. I had to get counseling for a year or so and am still getting over the experience. If only someone had written an article like this sooner.”
No one should need counseling after a faulty ordering experience. It is my hope that the advice below finds you well.
The good thing is ordering from Zoca is easy. The first thing you must know is that the menu is completely irrelevant, as are the “specials” they have listed on the window separating the line from the ordering station. You have seven options: white burrito, wheat burrito, white quesadilla, wheat quesadilla, burrito bowl, soft tacos and nachos. When it is your turn in line, one of the employees will ask what you want. You respond by saying one of the seven options. Do not look at the menu. Speak clearly and be confident.
Next they will ask you what you want in it. The key to this step is moving in the order of the food line, which is divided into two sections: the left and right side of the station. The first section of the station contains the meats, beans, queso and rice. The second section of the station consists of the lettuce, pico and other toppings to put on your Mexican creation. Order what you want in the first section without pausing, give them a second to put everything together and then tell them what you want in the second section, again without hesitating. After you are done, say something along the lines of “that’s it” or “that’s all” and then wait for them to reach across the glass divider to hand you your order.
Hopefully this helps anyone struggling to grasp the challenge that is ordering at Zoca. While it may be too late for Jake, if I can help stop just one errant order, this article will not be in vain.