Dining at the Student Union

Dining at the Student Union

The Student Union at Texas Tech incorporates both a standard food court (Union Plaza) with an array of stations including both national branded and in-house concepts, and a retail corridor where Texas Tech Hospitality Services (TTHS) operates five concepts (including a Sam's Place mini market), and will soon add another called Chef's Platter serving fare like wings and street tacos. The Union formerly operated its own foodservice, including units of some national chains, but sales were minimal. In 2005, TTHS took over the foodservice by agreeing to extend the dining plan there (previously, it was all cash). It now generates around $5 million in annual sales, of which TTHS pays the Union a percentage. Below are mini profiles of some of the Union outlets…

Union Bistro

One of the concepts currently located in the retail corridor of the Student Union Building, this is an upscale eatery that specializes in high-end to-order sandwiches featuring Boar's Head branded deli meats and cheeses, an all-day made-to-order omelet bar that sells some 300 a day and gourmet coffees, including the special Matador blend created specifically for Texas Tech. The outlet realizes some $5,000 in daily sales, including more than 300 omelet orders.

Sam's Place at SUB

The recently renovated Sam's Place in the Student Union retail corridor features a nacho/burrito/quesadilla line as its foodservice specialty, along with an array of grab-and-go items plus all-day cereal from bulk dispensers. The retail side specializes in high-velocity items like chips, candies and stationary but foodservice sales account for around three-quarters of the outlet's annual $850,000 in sales.

1923

The newest location in the Student Union retail corridor is this upscale outlet (named for the year of the university's founding) that offers gourmet sandwiches, hot paninis, a build-your-own hot dog bar and — most successfully — flatbread pizzas like the popular margarita and chicken pesto offerings. 1923 sells about 160 a day, contributing to the store's $2,200 daily sales average.

Cold Corner

Located along the Student Union retail corridor, this frozen sweets concept sells sorbets, gelatos and, most recently, fruit and latte smoothies, ringing up some $200,000 annually.

Union Plaza

Home to seven high-impact concepts, including national branded powerhouses Chick-fil-A, Quizno's, Sbarro and Steak Escape as well as TTHS's own NACUFS Loyal Horton Gold Award winning Zi Asian cuisine concept, this food court collectively racks up $3 million in annual sales (over a third from sales leader Chick-fil-A and another $420,000 from second-place Sbarro). The bulk of the business takes place at mid-day. (Pictured: Associate Director of Retail Sales Kirk Rodriguez)