Joseph M. Kilmer
Dining Services Supervisor
CulinArt kitchen at Con Edison's corporate office in New York's Union Square.
"There was an overwhelming need for a made-to-order hot sandwich area with trendy foods and lots of variety. We wanted to develop a competitive retail concept that was fresh and served this need.
"With The Melt hot sandwich station, we completely revamped the menu, marketing and pricing of the items. We went from ham and cheese sandwiches and hot dogs to crispy chicken wraps, Corning burgers, grilled vegetable provolone focaccias, home-style chicken tenders and grilled chicken focaccias.
"With our five core menu options customers are able to customize their selections with each of 13 daily options.
"Each item has a good value associated with it. Now, instead of each sandwich being served a la carte, it's part of a combo that includes either fries or a bag of Baked Lays for the more healthful minded customers.
"We menu the sandwiches all together with gingham wrap that distinguishes it at the register. This keeps each transaction quick. All of the combos cost $4.95.
"We also changed our signage to include pictures of each of the five core menu items, emphasizing the combo selection and the price.
"When we introduced The Melt, we ran internal TV commercials with the slogan: "The Melt; It's Grillicious." We gave away coupons and had the staff wear special tshirts and pins.
"The Melt also features a weekly special combo. This helps the grill cook manage volume and minimize waste. In all five of our cafès The Melt has taken over as the gross sales leader."
Manager, Warnock Dining Commons
Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA
"The Bluespoon Deli has been operating as a retail concept for about 12 years.The name has changed over time, but the deli aspect has remained. Sandwiches are easy grab 'n go items that students can customize and either eat in or take out.
"The idea for Bluespoon's lounge is that it offers eat¯in diners a great view, fun atmosphere, friendly staff and fresh food. There's a big screen TV in the main lounge and off to the side there is a smaller lounge called The Teaspoon. It has a relaxed atmosphere with big comfy chairs, a few TV's and a piano.
"Among our more traditional sandwich offerings we have hamburgers, grilled chicken and fries. At the deli students can choose from among a variety of lunch meats, cheeses, and toppings for their subs or wraps. The most popular is the turkey hoagie, and as a spin off, we offer it with bacon strips.
"We have a c-store concept called 4 The Road where students can purchase a variety of packaged sandwiches or hoagies made daily along with salads, parfaits, and fruit cups to go. Also, Bluespoon Deli has an online, ordering form. Students place their lunch order online then schedule a time of pick-up. The online ordering service really helps students on the go."