IU Bloomington adds regional sandwich brand

The first campus units of Wisconsin-based Erbert & Gerbert’s Bistro to open this fall.

Erbert and Gerbert's Bistro Indiana University

To further differentiate its offerings, Indiana University (IU), in Bloomington, is adding the first campus units of Wisconsin-founded regional commercial brand, Erbert & Gerbert’s Bistro, to its roster of dining options this fall. The sandwich and soup concept will replace three units of the campus’s deli brand, Stacks.

“Our campus is divided into neighborhoods,” explains Sandra Fowler, director of residential dining services. “We have the Northwest neighborhood, the Central neighborhood and the Southeast neighborhood and there will be an Erbert & Gerbert’s Bistro in each neighborhood.”

Just like a standard street-side outlet, each unit will offer a variety of sandwiches and soups—named for history- and science-based story characters that the company’s co-founders grew up with. Examples include the “Girf” (turkey and ham), the “Geeter,” (seafood and bacon) and “Narmer” (turkey and avocado). The subs are served along with unusual soup options such as Smoked Chicken & Sweet Potato and Italian Sausage Tortellini. “It’s just something new and different,” Fowler says. “Students are always looking [for something new and] that gets their attention.”

How did a Wisconsin brand come to Indiana? “Our assistant director and the director of residence life, they’re from Wisconsin, so they were familiar with Erbert and Gerbert’s,” Fowler explains. After meeting with brand representatives at an industry conference in early 2014, residence life administrators invited Erbert & Gerbert’s Bistro to campus to share menu samples with students, faculty and staff and to gain feedback. “We work closely with our students on campus when we’re going to bring in a new concept or when we’re going to change even recipes sometimes. We use them to taste test,” Fowler explains.

Ink was still drying on the agreements as renovations began this summer. But because the spaces were previously used for deli service, “there wasn’t a lot that we had to purchase, other than the storefront to make sure it’s identified as Erbert & Gerbert’s Bistro,” Fowler says.

The IU dining services department will oversee all units, and management training concluded at the end of July at the brand’s flagship unit in Wisconsin. All three units are scheduled to open in August, ahead of the fall semester.

More From FoodService Director

Managing Your Business
management team

Last week’s NACUFS National Conference proved to be a treasure trove of management and staffing takeaways. Here are a few we noted at the annual event , held this year in Providence, R.I.

1. Make it scalable

When explaining something new to staff, instead of asking, “You got it?” or “You with me?” have employees rate how well they understand the new material on a scale of 1 to 10, said Ron Paul, a senior consulting partner for Partners in Leadership, during a session on building accountability in the workplace. People are likely to say yes even when they don’t fully grasp what you’...

Ideas and Innovation
song break

Once per month in a daily huddle, we dedicate a few minutes for the staff to sing a short song. The staff has responded so positively to this. They now bring costumes and other props. It's a few short minutes, but the payoff has been tremendous.

Photo courtesy of iStock

Ideas and Innovation
plastic straws

An item about the size of a pencil has become the latest target in foodservice operators’ sustainability plans. Though small, plastic straws are said to have a large impact on the environment, with Americans using approximately 500 million straws each day, according to a release from Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium, which temporarily ditched plastic straws as part of an Earth Day promotion this year.

In recent months, a growing number of eateries and cities across the United States have scrapped plastic straws. In July, Seattle enacted a ban on plastic straws and utensils, requiring...

Industry News & Opinion

Medford High School in Medford, Mass., is looking to add an orchard to its campus, Wicked Local reports.

The idea for the orchard was brought forth by students looking to help combat food insecurity. They are working with the school’s nutritionist to make the orchard a reality.

If planted, the orchard would be located inside the school’s courtyard and would grow fruits such as apples, paw paws, blueberries, peaches and plums. It would also include an outdoor classroom space.

The school committee signed off on the project last year; however, some administrators are...

FSD Resources

Code for Asynchronous jQuery Munchkin Tracking Code