Brigham Young University (BYU) does nearly $1 million in catering sales each year. So when dining services was hoping to expand, it went looking for an outlet that was off the beaten campus path.
They found the perfect place in an old bank building located in a residential community about a mile from campus. The location is currently undergoing renovations but should be open in the coming months.
“We anticipate helping serve the community—there’s no grocery store within several miles within this area,” says Dean Wright, director of BYU dining service. “We don’t see ourselves competing with a full-service grocery store, but [our store] certainly is for the products that we outlet.”
“We do pay income tax on it,” Wright continues. “It’s just like a for-profit business of dining services. That’s why we moved it off campus.”
The bank retail location, named BYU Food To Go, is being utilized in two ways. The first is the covered area—think the drive-thru teller area with the tubes—where cars can pull up and have their preordered catering requests loaded. “In the past people would have to drive into campus, park, walk into the building and bring it out,” Wright says. “Now you place your order and text us or give us a call and you can pull right into the overhang area. You pull up and we will bring your food right to your car, we load it and you drive on.”
The second is in the foyer of the bank. BYU makes its own dairy, ranging from milk to cheese and sour cream. Those dairy items, along with bakery items like doughnuts and other pastries, will be sold in a store setting. The store is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Customers do not need to preorder from the store; they can simply stop by whenever they need something.
The catered food items include meal packages (entrées, sides and desserts), tailgate favorites (hot dogs, pulled pork, fajita chicken), baked goods, breakfast items (bacon, eggs and French toast) and fruit and vegetable trays. Short-notice items (cookies and veggie trays) have to be placed by noon the day before pickup and are limited to groups of no larger than 100. The remaining products can be placed up to a month in advance but with at least two days’ notice. The call order center is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
“If you’re catering a party or having a big group over, this is the easiest thing you can do,” Wright adds. “And our prices are very competitive.”
Food for BYU Food To Go is prepared in the catering kitchen on campus and trucked daily to the bank location. The location is open year-round, with the exception of six holidays.
To get the word out about the new location, dining services has created TV and radio ads and is sponsoring a reality show about the university’s football team. They also handed out Matchbox vans with the BYU Food To Go logo on them at a campus open house.