Habanero's, University of California, Riverside

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

Snapshots, UC-Riverside, Habaneros, First stationHabanero's is located in a food court, which also features an Italian concept, sushi and a Panda Express. Students approach the counter and make their order.

"We have electronic menu boards that walk [customers] through the process," Garner says. "It actually spins around and tells you to select your item, protein and then walks you through the different options just as a visual cue. The staff is going to do it verbaly too, but this way while you are waiting you can make some of those decisions ahead of time."

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At a nearly 150-year-old university, every stone column and classroom has treasured stories to tell. But with that history come the logistical challenges of operating in outdated spaces—especially for foodservice. Such is the case at University of California at Berkeley, where longtime cafe Ramona’s in Wurster Hall closed in March to make way for an updated, as-yet unnamed concept.

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We use our Menu Forward idea to empower staff to develop menu items and keep leftovers in check. Product left at the end of service may be claimed by any station to become part of a new item within six weeks. I’m happy to see my star team fighting for their ideas and products; the benefit to food cost is spot-on, and my freezer has no mystery items lurking in the corner.

Ideas and Innovation
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FSD Resources