Want ketchup? That’s 25 cents.

ketchup-costs

Operators looking to make a little extra dough by charging customers for condiments might not be happy with the result. The majority of consumers—80%—said they would not be willing to pay a small added fee for condiments at restaurants, according to a new survey from The NPD Group.

Half of consumers said they would actually go to another restaurant if they were charged a fee for condiments.

For the 20% of consumers who said they would be willing to pay for condiments, more than half said they would be willing to pay 25 cents.

“Charging for condiments carries more risk than any revenue benefit a restaurant operator would derive from charging for condiments,” says Bonnie Riggs, NPD restaurant industry analyst. “Condiments are viewed as a standard component of the menu items being ordered, rather than an ‘add-on.’ While some restaurant visitors said they would pay for condiments, there are too many others who would be bothered by the fee and would go someplace else to eat.”

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University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., has replaced a fajita bar in one of its dining halls with a superfoods bar, Tommie Media reports.

Aiming to provide more options for athletes and students with dietary restrictions, the new bar offers diners a choice of protein with a variety of toppings, such as beans, fruit, couscous and quinoa.

The superfoods bar has made a few appearances on campus since it was first tried for the school’s football players last summer.

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gluten free diet

From Stouffer’s.

A large part of menuing allergen-friendly cuisine is deciding which gluten-free items to serve.

In particular, college dining hall operators must decide whether to make gluten-free items in-house or to order gluten-free items from a manufacturer. Some factors to consider are: the size of the university, the demand for gluten-free options,and the ability to have separate gluten-free storage and workspaces in the university dining hall kitchen.

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Reading Hospital in West Reading, Pa., is using robots to help deliver patient meals, BCTV reports.

The eight robots, named TUGs, will be used to transport meals from the hospital’s nutrition services department to patient floors at Reading HealthPlex for Advanced Surgical & Patient Care.

Moving at three miles per hour, the robots will follow preprogrammed routes to the HealthPlex, where room ambassadors will remove room service carts from the TUGs and deliver them to patients. The TUGs will then return to nutrition services with dirty dishes for cleaning.

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Sodexo has partnered with fast casual Blaze Pizza to offer the chain’s signature pizzas, salads, beverages and desserts at select venues served by Sodexo, including colleges and universities.

Bill Lacey, senior vice president of marketing at Sodexo, said that Blaze’s growth in the fast-casual sector drove the partnership. Blaze opened its first unit in 2012 near the University of California at Irvine. Its pizzas are flash fired, cooking in under 180 seconds, according to the chain—a selling point for busy customers.

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