Grab-and-Go Concept Debuts at TCU

Campus Sub Connection is test site for new grab-and-co concept.

FORT WORTH, Texas—A new grab-and-go concept at 8,200-student Texas Christian University debuted this semester. According to Legia Abato, district marketing manager for this Sodexo account, the foodservice department is piloting the grab-and-go option at the Sub Connection, a sandwich location on the east side of campus.

“We were hearing that students really wanted a grab-and-go option that could be purchased using the meal plan on the east side of campus,” Abato said. As the campus expands, she said more students find that their classes are being offered in buildings that are increasingly further away from the Market Square, the university’s commons. Because of this, the students began asking for a quick way to purchase food between classes. That’s when Simply To Go, Sodexo’s grab-and-go line, was introduced at the Sub Connection. Now, students can purchase freshly packaged sandwiches, salads, wraps, fruit cups and baked goods for take out.

When dining services changed to a mandatory residential meal plan last fall, Abato said the department knew that with the new requirement, the department would need to make some changes. “One of the things we learned from the student body was that they were looking for a convenient way to use their unlimited plan on the east side of campus,” she said. “With the unlimited pass, students can eat in the Market Square as many times as they want and then they get one convenience swipe on the east side of campus.”

Abato said so far the response for the new program has been positive and that the program may be expanded in the fall.

More From FoodService Director

Managing Your Business
alumni worker

It’s a sure sign that a school is doing something right when its students want to come back and work as adults. From the standpoint of the foodservice director, though, there is plenty to gain from retaining homegrown talent—call it the ultimate return on investment. In the wake of back-to-school season, two dining programs with a robust alumni contingent share their thoughts on hiring former customers.

Local expertise

At Georgia Southern University, about one-third of Eagle Dining Services’ 107 full-time employees are alumni. “They way we do things on our campus may be very...

Managing Your Business
business ladder climbing illustration

Recruiting talent is only half the battle for Mike Folino, associate director of nutrition services at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio. Once he’s attracted good employees, providing clear opportunities for advancement can help retain them—but knowing when to bring up the topic in conversation can be tricky.

Prior to hiring

Folino likes to touch on advancement during the initial interview process, but the extent to which he does so changes case by case. “I have had interviews where we knew right away that we needed to discuss our structure and...

Ideas and Innovation
woman surprise

When I joined the staff at FoodService Director in the spring of 2015, I couldn’t believe how much there was to learn about the intricacies of the industry. My past experience, from kindergarten to my college days to on-the-job meals, would lead me to believe that noncommercial dining was a kind of automated process—an amenity that’s expected, and one you only become aware of if something goes wrong.

But as with my own household chores, there are no magical elves making sure the business of feeding students, seniors and hospital patients is done, and done well. Foodservice...

Managing Your Business
hands team

In November, students at University of Missouri in Columbia began leading protests against discrimination faced by people of color on campus—including some marches through the dining halls. Julaine Kiehn, director of the school’s campus dining services, said the 2015-16 school year was a tough one, but she was proud of MU’s students for being at the forefront of a national movement.

And not only did the protests launch important conversations with students, but also with staff. Kiehn heard the protests and thought that her student workers, at least, might not feel safe and welcome...

FSD Resources