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Campus September 17, 2012 //  by  // Comments

More mobile meal options

Students gather around the current food trucks by the UC. The new trucks will be where the Y Building was before its demolition.  |  File Photo/The Daily Cougar

Students gather around the current food trucks by the UC. The new trucks will be where the Y Building was before its demolition. | Nine Nguyen/The Daily Cougar

UH Dining Services is planning to add six new food trucks to the fleet of moving restaurants that is currently stationed outside the University Center.

Instead of placing the new trucks by the current ones — Bare Bowls Kitchen, The Waffle Bus and Bernie’s Burger Bus — Dining Services will put them on a new cement pad, which will be built where the old Y Building was previously. Dining Services aims to have the construction of the pad done by Oct. 1.
“When we first looked at using trucks to replace the locations in the UC, we always knew that we would have to add more than three to be able to serve the more than 11,000 customers that would have normally visited the food court each week,” said Amber Arguijo, marketing manager for ARAMARK. “For the slower summer months, we decided to start with the group of three to enable us to gauge customer demand and get a handle on all the operational issues that were new to us.”

UH Dining Services, ARAMARK and Auxiliary Services are working to contract La Jefa’s Kitchen, The Rice Box, Kurbside Eatz, Happy Endings, Stick It and Coreano’s food trucks. Two of the six food trucks will be open each day on a three-week alternating schedule.

“The UC is the center of our campus and providing enough options to replace the locations that were closed due to the renovations has always been at the core of our plans,” said Deborah Davis,
assistant director of Auxiliary Services. “Also, these trucks allow us to increase the variety of cuisines, which expand the options that we can offer to our campus community, allowing us to have a well-balanced portfolio of trucks.”

These trucks will not only allow students a variety of cuisine styles, but also different price ranges.

“We will have a variety of price points available at the trucks and have made a special point to look for trucks with lower price points to fit the student budget,” Arguijo said. “Although we do not want to intrude on how these trucks design and execute their operations, we do suggest ways in which they can make their services more accessible, for example offering combo meals or specials.”

In addition to these new food trucks coming in October, a new Indian concept restaurant opened in the UC Satellite on Sept. 10. Tandoori Nite is located between Burger Studio and Kim Son and serves kosher and halal meats as well as gluten and soy-free menu items.

Construction on the new concrete pad is still underway. Dining services is working to ensure the trucks have safe entry and exit points for any equipment the trucks may have and for students. They also want to ensure that trucks have adequate electrical and data power, but are still excited about bringing something new to the university.

“The culture of this emerging business is exciting, and we are hoping to capitalize on the popularity of these trucks through social media,” Davis said. “The idea of being able to find what trucks will be here on any given day is part of the lore that has made food trucks such a phenomenon.”

news@thedailycougar.com

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