Aramark Higher Education has launched Burger Studio, its first brand for the college market created entirely by students for the company. Using electronic touch-screen ordering kiosks, customers can design their own made-to-order sandwiches, selecting an Angus, chicken or veggie burger customized with more than 30 toppings, cheeses and special sauces.
The kiosks prompt each customer and then visually create the order by building the sandwich, piece by piece on the kiosk screen. “Our goal is to inspire students' creativity and individuality,” says Karen Parker, associate vice president of Marketing for Aramark Higher Education. “Burger Studio allows students to create a customized meal they want, using touch-screen technology that is already part of their everyday life.”
Aramark conducted on-line focus groups and sponsored chat rooms involving hundreds of students from the campuses where it operates to get feedback about all elements of the brand, including concept, design, name, use of technology and even staff uniforms. The Burger Studio name was selected from more than 1,200 entries submitted in an online contest. Student “taste testers” reviewed all menu items under consideration to ensure that the type of burger, fries and buns would appeal to students.
Burger Studio's design elements reflect an artist's palette with graphics depicting “masterpiece” burgers that great artists (Picasso, Van Gogh, Warhol) might have created. Staff uniforms are simple and relaxed, consisting of organic cotton t-shirts, painter's hats and jeans.
All locations are designed using sustainably-sourced materials and energy efficient equipment and lighting, including countertops made from bamboo with laminate made from coffee beans and recycled fibers, biodegradable packaging made from 100% recycled materials and take-out bags made with non-chlorinated pulp.
The first Burger Studio locations are opening this fall at University of Delaware, University of Hartford, Middle Tennessee State University, Missouri Western State University and Springfield (MA) College. More are planned to open early next year.
Burger Studio is the fourth proprietary brand launched by Aramark Higher Education in the last three years, joining c-store concept P.O.D. Provisions on Demand Market, Zoca Fresh Mex to the Max! and Bleecker Street, a bakery café concept.