Use a branded coffee bar to create a hip gathering space
South Georgia Medical Center and management company Morrison installed a Starbucks-branded Market Coffee bar in the hospital lobby, turning it into a trendy, revenue-generating space.
Extend the brand to mobile platforms
Northern Arizona University and Sodexo took the latter’s established coffee shop brand Jazzman’s and put it on a mobile cart that not only takes the brand to new locations but also offers exclusive options such as a nitro cold brew.
Cultivate coffee expertise
Virginia Tech Dining Services/Darren Van Dyke
Few places take coffee more seriously than Virginia Tech, where they have a certified master coffee roaster on staff and an ultra high-tech coffee roasting machine he can play with to his heart’s content in the back room. The result is a slew of signature and premium blends for not only the campus coffee program’s centerpiece, Deet’s Place, but for other outlets around campus as well.
Find the sweet spot between sustainability and coffee culture
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The new Emerbee’s coffee shop on the UC-Riverside campus not only donates a portion of proceeds to bee research and preservation, but it also distinguishes itself by offering a set of unique honey-flavored drinks such as a honey-cinnamon latte using honey from hives located on campus.
How schools can milk the coffee option
Orange County Public Schools
High schoolers love coffee drinks, as any non-school-hours trip to your local Starbucks can attest. That preference can also be leveraged within federal school meal regs to boost milk consumption and even school meal participation, as Orange County (Fla.) Public Schools has found.
Explore the teahouse alternative
Yes, coffee bars are pervasive on college campuses, but some schools such as Utah State are finding that an alternative option—a tea bar that offers premium and exotic blends—can carve out a lucrative niche by offering a different beverage experience.
Want an exotic tea option? Say “cheese”!
Talk about unusual! Stony Brook University’s Jasmine Tea House offers not just bubble tea but its weirder cousin, cheese tea, an Asian regional favorite that has been making inroads in this country among thrill-seeking beverage enthusiasts.
Sell more milk, generate less waste with bulk dispensers
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For school nutrition programs, milk is the traditional bedrock of the beverage program, but those classic disposable single-serve cartons are an environmental nightmare. One Virginia elementary school has found that using bulk milk dispensers combined with reusable cups has resulted in more milk consumption with less waste and a massive (around 90%) reduction in packaging going to landfills.
See what vendors have to offer
K-12 dining programs have a tough time balancing kid appeal and federal school nutrition requirements, but manufacturers serving this market are on the case, and the recent School Nutrition Association National Conference showcased a wide range of options, including a bunch of exotic but kid-appealing packaged beverages meeting Smart Snack regulations.
Leverage local brew culture to make the campus pub special
University of New Mexico (UNM) sits in the craft brewing hotbed of Albuquerque, so why not make the most of that? UNM has with the new Draft & Table, which has turned a campus “dead space” into a popular gathering spot for both the campus community and the local community.
Branded by science
When Babson College and contract company Chartwells contemplated a smoothie bar they didn’t go generic. They found an appropriate theme (chemistry and physics) and built both a concept look and a menu to fit it. The result: Smoothie Lab, with concoction names like Subatomic, Catalyst and Elemental. The station also sells acai bowls with similar themed names.
Smoothies of the future
Explore the equipment options
The NAFEM show held earlier this year featured a variety of equipment options for improving your beverage program. Here’s a roundup of some of the most interesting ones.