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

Managing Your Business
briggo coffee haus kiosk

Though diners’ appetites for coffee are seemingly bottomless, adding a full-service coffee shop to every corner of a facility probably isn’t in the playbook. Here’s a look at how two operators added coffee service with relatively small footprints—with one decidedly futuristic (robot barista, anyone?), and the other low-tech but nimble.

Specialty coffee vending at Dell

Dell has a full-service Starbucks on its Red Rock, Texas, campus, but the location isn’t always convenient for a quick coffee pickup. “Certain times, you go into the bistro, like 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., there’s quite a long...

Ideas and Innovation
sriracha bottles

Generally, I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions. They tend to be grandiose and unrealistic—and why not just resolve to start doing/not doing that thing you’re not doing/doing right away instead of going hog wild until Jan. 1? (New Year’s Day also is my birthday, and if you can’t eat at your favorite Thai restaurant and sip bubbly then, well, when can you?)

I do, however, enjoy the raucous singing of “Auld Lang Syne” to ring in the new year, though I’ve never been quite sure whether you’re supposed to be remembering the year fondly or happily putting it out of mind. While I...

Ideas and Innovation
baked bread

Instead of sourcing value-added product to reduce labor, the food and nutrition team at University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics in Madison outsources its baked goods to a local shop that hires only formerly incarcerated workers. The bakery was able to hire two new former inmates in order to keep up with the volume needs of the hospital. “We want to be really entrenched in the community, not just have a building that sits in the center of Madison,” says Amy Mihm, clinical nutrition specialist for the hospital.

Ideas and Innovation
cold storage boxes

When working with a small footprint, the back of the house often gets squeezed in the interest of preserving precious seats. But as storage space contracts, these restaurant operators are getting resourceful with everything from shelves to ceiling height to inventory in ways that FSDs can apply, too.

“When we were first tasked with figuring out smaller footprints, when it came to interiors, it was like a bad riddle,” says Trinity Hall, SVP of development for Dallas-based Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, which shrunk its prototype from 2,200 square feet to 1,800. “Let’s make it smaller and...

FSD Resources