"Servo" truck serves Gettysburg students

Published in FSD Update

By Paul King, Editorial Director

Students at 2,700-student Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania are enjoying healthier foods on the go—even late night—thanks to a new campus food truck. Servo Express began operating on campus this past fall. It offers lunch on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and a late-night option on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. About 100 customers order at each meal period.

The rotating menu designed by Executive Chef Chris Rinehart includes a variety of sandwiches and other specialties, such as a shaved prime rib on ciabatta with lettuce, tomatoes and horseradish and chive white cheddar cheese; vegetable sesame garlic yakisoba noodle bowl; three types of tortas: pork, chicken and carne asada; and a garden vegetable sandwich, made with cucumbers, tomatoes, spinach, avocado and alfalfa sprouts with a vegan balsamic vinaigrette on multigrain sunflower bread.

Menu prices range from $3 to $7.50, in line with other campus retail venues.

“We wanted to serve food in a location opposite where all our other venues exist on campus,” says Gary Brautigam, director of dining services. “But I wanted to feature healthier food choices. Basically we wanted to turn away from fried foods and the typical hot dog and hamburger menu that most trucks seem to feature.

“Chef Chris always offers something different. We’ve never had the same menu twice. We haven’t figured out the perfect mix yet, but we’re getting close,” he adds.

The orange truck was designed with only one fryer, but it also features a salamander, which allows the team to do grilled cheese sandwiches and finish off pizzas. Two food prep staff and one cashier keep service moving.

Josh Kalb is the lead truck manager, and Chad Brodbeck handles truck logistics and maintenance, as well as social media.

“The truck’s first appearance was actually last spring, at our baseball-themed dinner,” Brautigam explains. “We parked it in front of the dining center and gave away funnel cakes and soft pretzels and offered students a look inside. Then we used the truck during the summer for several of our conferences, using the opportunity to learn the flow of the truck and get used to the equipment and the narrow work space.”

The name of the truck has an interesting—and ironic—history, Brautigam says, coming from a time years ago when the college’s foodservice was outsourced.

“The students’ nickname for dining services was Servo,” he notes. “The name comes from the old days when Servomation managed foodservice on campus. The company, which became Service America, is no longer here, but ‘Servo’ turned out to be a well-loved name on campus, and it stuck.”