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.

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
leftovers containers

We use our Menu Forward idea to empower staff to develop menu items and keep leftovers in check. Product left at the end of service may be claimed by any station to become part of a new item within six weeks. I’m happy to see my star team fighting for their ideas and products; the benefit to food cost is spot-on, and my freezer has no mystery items lurking in the corner.

Ideas and Innovation
food allergy

When potential students come to campus, we match them with a student from our allergy support group for a tour of our dining facilities. The ambassador helps the potential student to understand how they navigated campus with their food allergy. This showcases what we do for allergies on campus, and is a highly successful way to make the students feel good about dining.

Menu Development
muse school produce

Kayla Webb, executive chef at Muse School, has transitioned the private K-12 day school in Calabasas, Calif., to an entirely vegan menu over a three-year period. Webb talks about her menuing, and how the school’s kitchen earned the title of “greenest restaurant in the world” from the Green Restaurant Association.

Q: How did you help parents get used to the idea of an all plant-based diet?

A: The first year, we didn’t announce it. We were just serving one plant-based meal a week, so it wasn’t that drastic. We do monthly Muse Talks where we invite different speakers to our school to...

Ideas and Innovation
lettuce dirt

Savor at McCormick Place developed the Green Thumb brand for menu items and products featuring its rooftop bounty; the latest is a pale ale made with the first crop of hops grown on the roof. Promoting that branding and the convention center’s green certification has brought in business from groups with a sustainability focus.

FSD Resources