ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, ILL. -- (March 21, 2014) People dining at Rock Island Arsenal are in for some new treats -- Treat America, a new contractor is taking over food services at Arsenal facilities.

Food operations in buildings 60, 212 and 350 will be closed on April 4 to allow for the transition to the new contractor. The cafeterias in buildings 212 and 350 will reopen for normal business on Monday, April 7. Whereas, the food court in Bldg. 60 will remain closed from April 7 through April 18, for remodeling, and will reopen April 21.

Treat America, a national food service company operates more than 120 restaurants in 16 states, plans to streamline and modernize food service at Arsenal Island, according to site manager Camellia Austin.

She said Treat America is a company "run by chefs" that emphasizes food quality. The biggest change customers will see, however, is in the way food is ordered and served. Customers will enter their orders into a self-service, touch-screen kiosk, which will also charge for the meal via either a credit/debit card or a "CK card" issued by the contractor. Customers can then go forward to where the food is prepared to receive their order and interact with the kitchen personnel.

"If you order a burger and fries, you enter that into the system and then go to the counter where the cook can ask 'how do you want your burger,' so it retains that human interaction," Austin said.

She said the "CK card" offers customers who don?'t want to use their personal credit cards a way to pay, by loading funds into an on-line CK account.

"CK stands for 'Company Kitchen,'" Austin said. "It's a cashless system. Customers can pay via their debit card, credit card or with their CK account which offers a 10 percent discount."

Customers can also add money to their CK account while using the touch-screen kiosk.

The contractor will also have a "host card" at each location, for the use of Arsenal visits and customers that might only have cash.

Austin said an advantage of the system is the ability to have 24-hour food service from the "grab-and-go" items in the food service areas. Customers can enter their purchases into the system, pay for them and leave no matter the hour of the day. Hot-food for lunch and breakfast will still be served during the same hours of operation that have previously been offered.

The menu for food service will also be upgraded.

"We operate on a five-week rotating menu, and it also changes by season. In the summer time we offer lighter and healthier items, because it's hot outside. In the winter, we?'ll have beef stew and similar items based on the season," Austin said.

Darrell Clay, Director of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation for Rock Island Arsenal, said Treat America will also offer catering services for events conducted at Heritage Hall. He said that FMWR would assume the responsibility for catering events that had been previously been contracted with the current contractor, Sheridan's.

"It's been a great cooperative effort to make all this happen," Clay said.