Food truck brings diverse menu to UC Riverside

Jan. 6—The Culinary Chameleon, the University of California, Riverside’s new 32-foot food truck, will bring an always-changing menu option to campus beginning in mid-January, according to a university press release.

The truck’s name and branding reflect the department’s wish for the menu to change regularly.

“Anyone who follows food trucks knows that they are trendy and edgy. We wanted our truck to have an identity that wouldn’t change, even when the menu changed,” Cheryl Garner, executive director of dining services, said in the release. “We landed on the chameleon with input from students and staff because a chameleon changes it colors depending on where it lives—much the same as we will change our menu based on seasons, trends, times and customer feedback.”

The truck’s debut menu will feature some items from the department’s now-closed Taco Fresco, which served street tacos and quesadillas. The truck features commercial kitchen equipment that will allow it to conduct 95 to 100 transactions per hour. According to the release, the truck cost about $250,000. Despite the truck’s many features, David Henry, director of Dining Services, says the truck will still be a challenge to operate.

“Even though it is a full kitchen to a large degree, it’s still a truck.” Henry said in the release. “The limitations we have are storage and, during peak periods, maybe speed of service. And of course everything has to be sealed and closed down when we move—we don’t want things flying around inside.”

The Culinary Chameleon will have a Facebook page and Twitter account, which will allow customers to learn about specials, promotions and where the truck will be parked. The truck will accept cash, credit cards, debit cards and campus Bear Bucks.

“Food trucks allow us to lower our overall investment and maximize our versatility and location by going where the customer is, when they are there,” Garner said in the release. “We hope to service portions of our campus which are currently under-penetrated with restaurants.”

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
sandwich sub

At our corporate operation in the Kohl’s headquarters, two kinds of sandwiches are available daily—an artisan version and a more straightforward sub. While planning out a business model for the space, Kohl’s wanted something that was quality driven, but very sensitive to pricing for associates. Diners are comfortable spending about $6 to $7 for lunch.

Ideas and Innovation
usc asian remodel

With a prime location in Los Angeles, one of the nation’s foodie capitols, the University of Southern California has plenty of dining competition. So when Kris Klinger, assistant vice president of retail operations, discovered that students were heading off campus for sushi and noodle bowls, he knew it was time to take action. The construction of Fertitta Hall, part of the university’s Marshall School of Business, provided the opportunity.

Klinger and Gary Marschall, associate director of USC auxiliary services in hospitality, shared photos of both the new Fertitta Cafe and a...

Ideas and Innovation
sriracha bottles

Generally, I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions. They tend to be grandiose and unrealistic—and why not just resolve to start doing/not doing that thing you’re not doing/doing right away instead of going hog wild until Jan. 1? (New Year’s Day also is my birthday, and if you can’t eat at your favorite Thai restaurant and sip bubbly then, well, when can you?)

I do, however, enjoy the raucous singing of “Auld Lang Syne” to ring in the new year, though I’ve never been quite sure whether you’re supposed to be remembering the year fondly or happily putting it out of mind. While I...

Managing Your Business
briggo coffee haus kiosk

Though diners’ appetites for coffee are seemingly bottomless, adding a full-service coffee shop to every corner of a facility probably isn’t in the playbook. Here’s a look at how two operators added coffee service with relatively small footprints—with one decidedly futuristic (robot barista, anyone?), and the other low-tech but nimble.

Specialty coffee vending at Dell

Dell has a full-service Starbucks on its Red Rock, Texas, campus, but the location isn’t always convenient for a quick coffee pickup. “Certain times, you go into the bistro, like 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., there’s quite a long...

FSD Resources