Getting it to go: 2010 Portability Study

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

“Seed”ing Takeout

When the Ronald Tutor Campus Center opened earlier this year on the campus of the University of Southern California, in Los Angeles, Seeds Marketplace was the venue best designed for grab-and-go service. According to Kris Klinger, director USC Hospitality, the outlet has more than met expectations—80% to 90% of the business at Seeds is taken off site even though there is a large outdoor piazza connected to the campus center.

Seeds is an interesting marriage of grab and go and made to order. Although the campus center has a large production kitchen, much of the food sold at Seeds is prepared in front of customers.

“We do made-to-order sandwiches and salads,” Klinger says. “We have a station where we do sausages on those spike toasters, and we have a rotisserie. We even do ice cream sandwiches on site.”

The ice cream station uses two three-ounce cookies baked by a local operator, Kukees, to sandwich one of 12 flavors of ice cream. The Kukees and Kreme Ice Cream Sandwiches sell for $2.95.

“We also have a large grocery section, home meal replacement items and sushi,” Klinger adds. “We modeled Seeds after Whole Foods and Chow, in Lafayette, Calif. We are doing $13,000 to $14,000 a day out of a small space—2,000 or 3,000 square feet.”

Most popular among the premade grab-and-go items are an Asian chicken salad, a Mediterranean salad and the Aztec chicken sandwich.

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Reading Hospital in West Reading, Pa., is using robots to help deliver patient meals, BCTV reports.

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Bill Lacey, senior vice president of marketing at Sodexo, said that Blaze’s growth in the fast-casual sector drove the partnership. Blaze opened its first unit in 2012 near the University of California at Irvine. Its pizzas are flash fired, cooking in under 180 seconds, according to the chain—a selling point for busy customers.

FSD Resources