Getting it to go: 2010 Portability Study

Six operators share how they are seeing growth in their take-away business.

Grab-and-go is an increasingly popular foodservice option in many foodservice sectors as customers seek more convenience to ease their busy lifestyles. This month, along with our 2010 Portability Study, we present the stories of six operators who for different reasons are seeing growth in their take-away business.

A Team Effort

As do most universities, Dining Services at Ohio University, in Athens, has several grab-and-go locations on the 21,000-student campus. Last year, the department wanted a take-away service in its recently renovated Baker University Center. So the retail team put its heads together and created the Fast Lane service at the West 83 Food Court, located on the first floor of the BUC.

“The grab-and-go option is part of our c-store program,” explains Kent Scott, senior general manager at West 82. “We had a need, and students were asking, for more healthy options. So Mary Jane Jones, associate director for retail operations at Baker, came up with a product line and recipes that could go with the program.”

What Jones and her team, which included Catering Manager Eve Wharton and Senior General manager Jeff Brooks, created was a bank of 45 items customers can choose from. Included are a variety of cold sub sandwiches, salads and wraps, and a line of microwavable foods such as macaroni and cheese, lasagna and three kinds of chicken wings: Buffalo, barbecue and cranberry glaze. Dessert items include fruit and yogurt parfaits.

All items are prepared, packaged and labeled in the kitchen, which retail operations shares with catering. Danny Groves and Annie Stanley are in charge of getting items delivered to West 82, as well as to other satellite locations.

“We began the program last spring, and expanded it in the fall to include the microwave items,” says Scott. “We’re averaging about $1,900 in sales through this program. Students really seem to enjoy the new offerings. The subs are very popular, as are the wings. We have used quite a few of the catering recipes to make this happen. It really has been a team effort.”

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