Chomp & Go! from Aramark provides the University of Florida (UF) a unique and proprietary branded concept that can be duplicated and utilized in multiple locations while also giving each location a signature offer that is different from any other location and which utilizes local, minority and women-owned businesses when possible. One brand with many branches, it offers a unique set of customized menu offers that gives guests a destination dining experience because once a menu offering is selected by one site, it is no longer available for another to choose while highlighting local foods and businesses.
With Chomp & Go! UF’s Aramark-managed Gator Dining was able to adapt to the needs and desires of the entire campus, not just the parts with the most density by being able to serve locations that have a small community but are still in need of onsite foodservice.
At UF, academic and medical buildings are managed separately by a team of onsite administrators. This management style has its advantages for serving the students and the faculty and staff at the University, but it is challenging creating and maintaining a centralized foodservice program that meets the needs of the entire campus, especially as some of the buildings are not easily accessible to students and the main campus population.
In addition, while most department owners would like a national brand such as Starbucks or Einstein Bros Bagels, their areas may not realistically support the overhead of such a brand unit.
It was to solve these difficulties that Aramark developed Chomp & Go! which provides a standard and consistent minimal solution in every location while also adding an additional food component unique to each and supporting multiple day parts. The concept also utilizes local, minority and women-owned businesses when possible and offers a unique set of customized menu selections that drive guests to locations for a destination dining experience.
Each Chomp & Go location incorporates a retail convenience program, a local coffee program with specialty option, a breakfast program with signature item and a signature lunch item.
The concept also provides venues a comprehensive food and beverage solution that can support minimal operating overhead while offering UF a unique and proprietary concept that can be duplicated and utilized in multiple locations. It also gives each location a signature offer that is different from any other location on campus while requiring only a minimum equipment and finish out expense of approximately $21,000 all-in.
The first Chomp & Go was installed at the UF Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine Institute (UFOSMI). As the first department to implement the concept, they were able to select their unique offering. Once a menu offering is selected, it is no longer available for another department to choose; this ensures we have a common brand across campus and also are providing variety.
“With each installation, we share the presentation with the department administrators and review the options with them,” explains Tim Bucolo, Resident District Manager for Gator Dining. “We listen and adjust the concept build-out based on their specific department demographic. Having a cohesive brand that can be customized piece by piece is very exciting, and allows us, as operators, to make decisions that make the most sense based on food cost, customer counts, and taste preferences.”
UFOSMI selected the Mi Apá Latin Cafe lunch concept, a local staple that consistently wins customer favorite competitions for its Latin cuisine. At the UFOSMI Chomp & Go, customers can enjoy breakfast sandwiches in the morning with local Sweetwater Coffee while the lunch menu has Cuban sandwiches and plantain chips as well as Bento Sushi and other grab and go options that are adjusted based on customer feedback. All of the sandwiches are served on bread from La Segunda, a venerable Cuban bakery in operation in Tampa since 1915.
Following UFOSMI in selecting a Chomp & Go! outlet was the Cancer and Genetics Research Complex, which was looking for a concept that could both cover the breakfast program and a hearty lunch option. They chose C&G Panini, a proprietary panini concept developed in house by the Executive Chef of Classic Fare Catering, Steve Ledoux.
Going forward, Gator Dining plans to implement Chomp & Go locations across campus, with each department making their selection of the menu offerings they want at their customized, individual Chomp & Go. Each time a menu offering is selected, it is taken out of the rotation and the next department cannot use it. However, all locations share the same Chomp & Go branding, complete with trade dress, a unique logo and uniform standards all tied into the university from the menu to the colors used on the menu boards to the artwork on the walls.
“The Chomp & Go concept is a great way to incorporate local food into a retail concept on our large campus,” says Jenn Moyer, Marketing & Communications Specialist at UF. “With each Chomp & Go featuring a local favorite, Aramark is able to meet the demands of a very diverse university and hospital system.”.