Managing Your Business: October 2013

Published in FSD Update

This month,  USC rolls out a new mobile ordering app and current Baltimore City Public Schools lunch prices.

> USC Rolls Out Mobile Ordering App

A need to speed service at retail outlets on campus has led dining services at the University of Southern California to partner with a technology company to allow students to order and pay for food remotely through a mobile app. USC Hospitality has signed an agreement with Tapingo, a company that operates a contextual shopping app that processes on-the-go orders and makes items available for pickup within minutes.

Dirk de Jong, associate director of operations for USC Hospitality, says the service is being phased in, with seven restaurants currently linked to the app. “We started with the locations where we were having the most traffic,” de Jong explains. “That would be our Starbucks outlet, which is known as Trojan Grounds; five locations in the food court at our Tutor Campus Center; and Literatea, which is our upscale tea concept.”

USC Hospitality began exploring mobile ordering options to alleviate crowding at certain times. “Every campus has these demand peaks, which are often tied to classes letting out,” de Jong notes. “As far as technology solutions, we looked at installing order kiosks and online ordering capability, but being able to order through your cell phone is emerging technology and one that our students would be very comfortable with.”

The app will allow students and faculty to pay for their purchases with PayPal or a credit card, and resident students will even be able to use meal plan swipes as payment.

De Jong also points out that the new app will provide USC Hospitality with marketing and data collection opportunities. “One aspect that is intriguing is that we can use the app to let customers know about locations that are less well used, so we can drive traffic,” he says. “The back-office piece will give us data to collect such as traffic counts, average check and our upselling efforts.” 

> $3

The price for lunch at Baltimore City Public Schools. The reduced-price meals category has been eliminated and the district hopes to make up for some of the lost revenue by increasing paid meal prices. Last year’s prices for lunch were $2.35 for elementary students and $2.65 for middle and high school students, according to the Baltimore Sun

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

The University of Maryland will begin offering weekly specials at all of its dining halls this semester, The Diamond Back reports.

The weekday specials will allow Dining Services to offer past menu items that students miss as well as new dishes students have been requesting, according to a spokesperson.

Students can find out which specials are being offered each week via dining hall table tents as well as through Dining Services’ social media. During select weeks, the specials may reflect a particular theme, such as Taste of the South.

Read the full story via...

Menu Development
salad chicken

Vegetables and grains have stepped into the spotlight, thanks to the “flipping the plate” trend, but protein is still an important part of a balanced diet. Sources including meat, cheese, nuts, and meat alternatives such as tofu and tempeh can and should still be on the plate—albeit as a side dish or topping rather than the main event.

“Whatever we do [as FSDs] needs to be rooted in the culture, and today’s culture is all about healthy eating and plant-focused meals,” says Chris Studtmann, executive chef at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. “A recipe is an idea; culture is...

Menu Development
jackfruit

It emerged as a top food trend on Pinterest’s 2017 predictions, is “the latest miracle food” according to Epicurious, and was called “a nutritional bonanza” by NPR. Jackfruit is the latest superfood garnering buzz, and Even Stevens Sandwiches has gone after the vegetarian-friendly option for a recently launched torta. Here, Culinary Director Brandon Price shares three lessons learned from adding jackfruit to the menu.

Finding the best form

Using fresh jackfruit wasn’t the answer for the chain. It has to be sourced internationally, and breaking it down cuts into labor costs. But...

Ideas and Innovation
hibachi grill cooking

We saw in 2016 that many operators were trying to have some type of display cooking in their food operation. We installed a hibachi grill this fall, and within three months we had 300 residents and guests make reservations. We also use our hibachi grill for cooking classes twice a month, where our hibachi chef Abby Kramer does an excellent job teaching different cuisines. We have received so many compliments that we have decided to get another hibachi grill for a different dining venue in 2017.

FSD Resources