Despite its Italian heritage, pizza has become as American as apple pie. According to pizza. com, 93 percent of Americans have had pizza in the last month and more than 3 billion pizzas are sold annually in the U.S.
Pizza is certainly a popular choice at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., where it is available in three different locations. “Pizza is very important,” said Art Kessler, foodservice director. “Pizza is a fixture on the college campus nowadays.”
Fireside Pizza, located in the new Central Dining Hall, is the newest pizza spot on campus. It features a Wood Stone oven. “We brought that in because we wanted to improve on the pizza we were serving on campus,” he said. “The look of the flame in the back of the pizza oven, and the students actually being able to see their pizzas being produced, goes a long way. With the impinger oven, you don't get quite that marketing or promotion. It is about the whole pizza experience.” ...
UNL Opening First Pizza Express by Subway on College Campus
The University of Nebraska – Lincoln is set to open the second Pizza Express by Subway in the country this month, the first on a college campus.
“There is only one other Pizza Express nationally,” said Charlie Francis, director of Nebraska Unions. “We are the first at a university, so we are really excited about that, and that the University of Nebraska — Lincoln can be the site that helps to break this out nationally.”
Pizza Express by Subway follows a model very similar to that of a Subway sandwich shop. “We are basically going to offer any of the toppings that are used on a regular Subway sandwich,” said Steve Barton, president of Barton Development, the franchisee. “We have a menu that will have the standard of pepperoni and sausage and those kind of things, but we will have barbecue chicken or a chicken teriyaki or ham. We will have a listing of about 10 of those. They are all standard toppings that are already in the Subway food chain. Just recently, Subway has approved a mushroom product. We will be the first to have them in our market. We can do a customization just like a Subway sandwich.” ...
UTSA Welcome Papa John's
In the fall of 2013, The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), welcomed a new Papa John's to campus.
The pizza franchise, located in the John Peace Library food court, was chosen after Aramark, the campus foodservice provider, conducted proprietary research and received feedback during dining committee meetings that students trust brand names they recognize.
Papa John's replaced Bene Pizza, an Aramark proprietary brand, and has performed quite well since its opening. “We experienced a 58 percent increase in sales over the prior year,” said Demica Rodriguez, marketing manager with Aramark.
Food Trucks continue to be a popular trend on college campuses, as more schools are adding them or thinking about doing so. Whether used to satisfy students' late-night cravings, or to provide food service to underserved areas of campus, more and more schools are driving their way to culinary success.
UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI
At the University of Miami in Florida, students can get their pizza fix at Uragano, which is Italian for hurricane.
In 2011, when Dining Services decided to replace a pizza concept on campus with a different cuisine, it left them without a place to find a slice on campus. “We still wanted to have pizza on campus, but we didn't have a location,” said Traci Cancro, marketing and social media director with Chartwells, the campus foodservice provider. “Being that there was a food truck craze in Miami, we decided to get on board, and that is how Uragano was born.” ...
At Fairfield University in Connecticut, Dining Services recently ran a trial run to see if a food truck would be a good fit on campus.
Dining Services, operated by Sodexo, borrowed the truck from another of the company's accounts. “It became available and aligned with some interest on our campus in some latenight dining options,” said Bryan Davis, general manager of Fairfield Dining Services. “We have had it since December, and we will give it back in the end of February.”
The truck, called Oxedos, or Sodexo spelled backwards, has offered a variety of cuisines in its test run. “Basically, as this is a trial run, we have been switching up the menu a little bit, so we are not stuck to one,” he said. “That is the beauty of the mobile cuisine, I think it answers to student satisfaction and getting a read on what it is they are looking for. Everything we do is on a higher end. We are doing a high end taco. We have been doing Philly Cheesesteaks, but also with chicken and vegetarian. We have also done a kielbasa, different sausages. We even did breakfast foods one night.”...
SACRED HEART UNIVERSITY
@thekitchentruck at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn. was launched in the fall of 2013.
“What we tried to do is not pinpoint it to one particular concept, whether it be just a grilled cheese truck, or just a hot dog truck, or just a Philly cheese truck,” said Mark Tammone, senior director of Dining Services, which is operated by Chartwells. “What we tried to do is make it pretty generic with no names or anything on it except for the name of the truck. We came up with six custom menus, so we can change the concept depending on the platform.” ...
UNIVERSITY OF MARY WASHINGTON
The Wholly Habaneros truck at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Va. has its origins from a non-food truck concept.
“Wholly Habaneros was a branded concept that the folks at Sodexo developed, and they were just deploying it to the field,” said Mike Greenfield, district manager with Campus Services, which is operated by Sodexo. “It was really meant to be an inline quickservice operation. The trade dress of it, the front counter, looked like a food truck.”
Greenfield thought that the concept would work in the truck based on surveys of students. “From surveying students on the campus and looking at the array of other options that we had on campus, this was one that seemed would really be a good fit on campus, and looking at some of their off-campus spending habits as well,” he said. “We thought that this could be something that could be contained within a food truck, and we could set it up that it would be rapid service; all of those stars aligned very well for us.”...