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Fast-food chain to leave University of Nebraska-Lincoln

April 6, 2018

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — University of Nebraska students have expressed mixed feelings to the announcement that a beloved Lincoln fast-food chain will leave the student union next month.

Runza has served the university’s student union for a decade and has deep roots in the state, with its first restaurant opening in Lincoln in 1949.

The university chose out-of-state vendors to take its place in the student union, Runza spokeswoman Becky Perrett told the Omaha World-Herald . The company wanted to stay but had been outbid, she said.

Two new restaurants are lined up to replace Runza, said Charlie Francis, director of the Nebraska Union. He declined to offer specifics because the restaurants haven’t finalized agreements, which is expected to occur in the next several weeks.

Runza has made contributions to the university and its foundation in the past, said Runza Restaurants President Donald Everett Jr. in a letter.

“We received no credit in the bidding process for a sizable contribution to the new College of Business building, for our continuing support of the University Foundation, or the multi-million dollar sponsorships of Husker Athletics,” Everett said.

The university doesn’t consider contributions in an effort to be fair to all vendors submitting proposals, Francis said.

The unidentified restaurants will open by late summer, he said.

Student Robert Keck, 26, said he’s sad to see Runza leave campus.

“Replacing a business that was grown in Nebraska is a mistake,” Keck said. “I think we should support some of the businesses, especially Runza, that were started here.”

Student Kathryn Zielny, 21, was impartial to the decision.

“I’m not from Nebraska, so I’m indifferent,” Zielny said. “I’ll be happy with whatever comes as long as they have fries.”

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Information from: Omaha World-Herald, http://www.omaha.com

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