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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Menu Development

At University of North Dakota, National Nutrition Month in March sometimes elicits as much excitement as the NCAA basketball tournament or spring break. That’s when the school’s version of the TV show “Chopped” takes place. The competition is an event organized by UND Dining’s registered dietitian, Dustin Frize, in partnership with the college’s chefs. Students are organized into teams, given a basket of nutritious foods and tasked with creating winning dishes. “Healthfulness is a key component of the judging,” Frize says.

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The dining team at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., has updated the halal offerings at its student center after student concerns of cross-contamination and mislabeling, The Hofstra Chronicle reports.

After listening to students, the center’s halal options were moved from a self-serve line to a hot entree station. The dining team also updated its signage to better indicate which meals are halal.

In addition to halal hot dogs and hamburgers, students will now have the option of halal beef as well as new globally inspired halal meals.

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