By Amy Taylor
Trevecca students are quick to make suggestions about food choices on campus, but they aren’t always so quick to put their money where their mouth is.
In an effort to implement student suggestions about food options, the company that oversees the cafeteria and the Hub is experimenting with different options and trying to find one that sells.
After failed attempts at selling Chick-Fil-A and sushi in the Hub, Pioneer College Caterers is opting for a Wendy’s-like spicy chicken sandwich everyday instead.
“We couldn’t get the sales up,” Renee Carrier, service manager of Pioneer, said.
After at least 3 years of selling Chick-Fil-A on Fridays in the Hub, Pioneer could no longer afford to sell the restaurant’s best selling fried chicken sandwich.
The sandwich cost students $6.30 without an exchange. If students used an exchange to purchase the chicken sandwich, however, they still had to pay a little extra.
Pioneer was losing money in the deal.
“because most people were getting it as an exchange,” Carrier said.
The cost of an exchange is the same as the cost of a meal in the cafeteria, but for Pioneer the cost was more extensive because they were having to purchase the sandwiches from Chick-Fil-A.
There was also a Chick-Fil-A delivery fee that affected the decision to pull the sandwich from the menu.
Although most students were happy with Chick-Fil-A being in the Hub, sales didn’t always show that. Some days there would be 20 to 30 left over meals.
“We were basically just wasting [the food left over],” John Hampton, food service director of Pioneer, said.
Sales also depended on what was being offered in the cafeteria each week, Hampton said.
After cutting Chick-Fil-A, Pioneer tried selling sushi every day.
Some students want healthier options on campus, so Pioneer officials tried replacing Chick-Fil-A with sushi, Carrier said.
“Sushi was something that several students had been requesting,” Carrier said. “We had pretty good feedback on that.”
However, the cost of the sushi was too high for most students at $5.99 for an eight piece roll. The sushi was not part of students’ exchange plans, meaning they had to pay cash.
After about three weeks of sales, on Jan. 25 Pioneer pulled it from the menu.
“We couldn’t go any lower in the price. [T]he sales weren’t there,” Carrier said.
There was no set limit on how much sushi Pioneer needed to sell, but “it needed to be more than three a day, which was basically what we were doing,” Carrier said.
Because they were just barely reaching their goal, they decided to pull sushi from the menu also.
Another factor was that the person who made the sushi for the Hub made it fresh daily and delivered it to the Hub.
“He needed to have a profit made there, and we just couldn’t provide the sales,” Carrier said.
Pioneer may try selling the sushi another semester, but for now they have decided to sell a Cisco spicy chicken sandwich every day instead.
The spicy chicken sandwich is the same as the spicy chicken sandwich at Wendy’s, John Hampton, food service director of Pioneer said.
“We’ll see how that goes, “ Hampton said.
The sandwich is part of students’ exchange plans, and there is no extra cost on top of that, Carrier said.
The sandwich has been selling well so far, Hampton said.
According to the nutrition sheets on Wendy’s and Chick-Fil-A’s Web sites, the Chick-Fil-A chicken sandwich is 430 calories and has 17 grams of fat, while the Wendy’s spicy chicken sandwich is 460 calories and has 16 grams of fat.
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