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

Ideas and Innovation
condiments

It’s still true that diners want it their way. But the straightforward, choose-your-toppings Chipotle model is, as the kids say, so basic. The noncommercial diners of 2018 are coming to the table with expectations for meals that fit their personalized needs, from portion size to protein type, calories and more. Operators are responding by pushing beyond the basics with spice-your-own-soup bars, specialty condiment stations and serving size tweaks cooked a la minute.

For some operations, the next phase truly revs up the personal part of personalization, turning diners into chefs...

Managing Your Business
glendale senior dining catering

At the residential facilities Glendale Senior Dining serves, catered birthday and anniversary parties, summer barbecues and other private on- and off-site events give senior residents a convenient alternative to cooking themselves, Director of Business Development Todd Lindsay says.

For these events, Glendale, which serves locations throughout the Northeast and mid-Atlantic, will often tap employees from nearby units to take on catering events; and for weekend or summer engagements, it will reach out to the parent company’s school dining division for a few extra hands.

“We...

Industry News & Opinion
Shedd Aquarium White Sox Shedd The Straw

The Chicago White Sox have partnered with the Shedd Aquarium to support their “Shedd the Straw” initiative: a plan that the groups expect to curb the use of plastic straws by about 215,000 this baseball season.

Beginning on Earth Day, April 22, drinks at all dining locations throughout the Sox’s Guaranteed Rate Field will not be automatically served with plastic straws. Guests will be provided with biodegradable straws upon request. Guaranteed Rate Field is said to be the first in Major League Baseball to ban the use of plastic straws.

“At one of Shedd Aquarium’s local...

Industry News & Opinion

The Henry P. Kendall Foundation, a philanthropic group that aims to create a more sustainable food system in New England, has announced its creation of the New England Food Vision Prize .

The foundation is inviting foodservice leaders from colleges and universities throughout New England to submit their ideas on how to create a stronger food system that will help the region produce at least half of its own food by 2060.

Qualifying ideas must be collaborative and replicable, among other requirements. The foundation hopes that by reaching out to large food purchasers, like...

FSD Resources