Habanero's, University of California, Riverside

A holiday break refresh is all this concept needed to get things cooking again.

When Dining Services' Mexican concept at the University of California, Riverside, just wasn't delivering how the department wanted it to, Cheryl Garner, executive director of Dining Services, decided to spice things up. Enter Habanero's, which offers students the opportunity to create their own Mexican menu items from a seemingly endless amount of possibilities.

Snapshots, UC-Riverside, Habaneros, Signage
Garner says the missing ingredient from the previous Latin concept  in the location was the opportunity to customize the product.

"There is just such a trend toward customization," Garner says. "People want to go in and make it their own. It also allows the menu to be much more expansive. Once you add the customization, you suddenly open up a whole new world of opportunity."

The team saw that service wasn't fast enough and sales had leveled off. So during holiday break the department went in and gave the location a makeover.

"We made it much more vivid and warm and made it a build-your-own location where you follow your product along, similar to Chipotle. You decide what type of rice, beans, protein, salsas that you want so you can truly make each of the orders your own."

Pages

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion
Madison food truck

The Madison Metropolitan School District in Madison, Wis., has partnered with a local organization to debut a food truck that will serve healthy, locally sourced lunch options for Madison high school students, according to The Capital Times .

The truck, which was donated by the Emmi Roth Cheese Co., will visit four high schools Tuesday through Friday, spending a day at each campus. Students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch can use the food truck as they would the school cafeteria for no-cost or discounted meals.

Members of MMSD and partner organization REAP Food...

Industry News & Opinion

Identifying prospective employees may be less challenging for foodservice operators than getting would-be recruits to complete the hiring process , according to a new study of why job applicants bail.

The report shows that nearly three out of fours applicants (74%) will drop their effort to be hired if they suspect management is racist, and two out of three (62%) will flee if they learn of sexual harassment allegations. Roughly the same proportion (65%) will halt their pursuit if they encounter indications of a gender gap in pay.

About half (45%) of candidates won’t show...

Menu Development
zoodles

Here’s how two operations are spotlighting produce this season.

Oodles of zoodles

Binghamton University underscored its growing focus on plant-based options with a recent zoodle pop-up on campus. The pop-up, which served vegetable noodle bowls in vegan and vegetarian varieties, sold out of the dishes in four hours. The Binghamton, N.Y., school aims to add zoodles to its regular menu in the fall.

A buffet boost

The dining team at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, recently re-evaluated its buffet offerings with an eye toward adding healthy options. It updated the fruit and...

Managing Your Business
Starbucks teen

In the bid for teens’ dining dollars, Chick-fil-A may be a noncommercial operator’s biggest offsite threat. The quick-service chicken concept has nudged Starbucks out of the top slot in an updated ranking of restaurant chains by their followings among affluent teenagers.

The semiannual report from Piper Jaffray shows Starbucks maintaining its long reign as the hearththrob of teens from average-income households, a streak that began in 2011 when the coffee king pushed McDonald’s out of first place.

The study, “Taking Stock With Teens,” which Piper Jaffray updates twice a...

FSD Resources