Local District Action Inspired

Touch-screen kiosks are improving traffic flow and boosting sales at the Univ. of Tampa's Spartan Club—to the tune of 1,000 orders per day (20% more) and weekly sales exceeding $3,000.

Called Grill Online, the kiosk and ordering system feature uniquely designed menus, ordering screens and interactive assistance to customers placing orders for eat-in or take-out. Students can order everything from plain burgers to Buffalo and Cajun chicken burgers, chicken and cheese quesadillas, onion rings and fries, etc.

If you build it: The kiosk was so popular that a second one was soon installed to alleviate wait-times. Both were relocated from the ordering counters to a table 15 feet away, adjacent to the cashier. Officials at Sodexho, which runs foodservice at Tampa, say the kiosks help maximize the retail area's limited space.

Students can use their meal plan dollars for a pre-set combination meal, or pay with cash or credit cards. "We soon hope to accept payment at the kiosk," says Adrian Reyes of Sodexho.

Online ordering for Sizzling Salads, an entree salad concept, along with two national franchises is planned. "The technology is definitely customer friendly, entertaining, fun—not to mention cutting labor expenses by up to 9%."

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We have spent considerable money making cafeterias cool again. New paint jobs, crazy color patterns, custom graphics and changes in lighting schemes have made some of our cafes popular gathering places. We’ve also experimented with videos, cable TV programs and music. We involved a number of student groups and student input in improving the atmosphere, especially in our high school and middle school cafeterias.

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