Expand C&U Foodservice with 24/7 Options

It seems like just yesterday. We were walking back from the library after a late-night cram session before finals, and we got hungry. We headed to the stadium before the big game, and we wanted to grab a quick bite before kickoff. We were hanging out at the house, and we got the munchies.

Nothing has changed. College students still like to eat regardless of what time it is. They still view 24/7 accessibility to food as one of their most desired abilities, and traditionally, that translated to dollars spent at late-night coffee shops, all-night diners, delivery, or even just eating at home. Purchases didn’t often go to the college or university foodservice program.

While the motivations to eat around the clock haven’t changed, depending on when you went to college, the ability and motivations for C&U directors to serve around the clock has. Today, savvy campus foodservice directors are taking advantage of this ancient truth, that students will eat whenever they want to eat, and they’re making it profitable.

Late-night service comes with a unique set of challenges, though. Labor can often be tough. Delivery could be difficult or even dangerous. And during the current COVID-19 pandemic, low-touch or even contactless foodservice is highly desired.

Takeout doesn’t have to be fraught with fear, though. The vine-clad buildings around the quad might be the same. The late night meals are still happening. But the equipment C&U directors now have to execute on service has completely changed an operation’s capabilities.

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Consider the Pick Up Cabinet from Carter-Hoffmann

PUCA-23 dooropen j-2Colleges and universities are turning to a combination of technology and takeout to stay ahead in the age of COVID-19, and one of the easiest solutions is the PUC Smart Order Pick Up Cabinet, or PUC, from Carter-Hoffmann. Here’s how it works:

Students can order online or via mobile app to create their orders. Orders are received and processed by operators. Once the order is ready, the customer goes to a certain location on campus where a series of foodservice lockers hold the order in an antimicrobial environment. The student can then scan his or her phone, open up the cabinet, and take the order home. Labor is minimized, and there’s absolutely zero face-to-face interaction.

PUC cabinets come in heated and ambient locker style and heated pizza style. Different combinations of these three styles can be connected and allow for holding various types of menu items. All orders can be segmented away from each other, ensuring safety and the preservation of quality the students expect.

The video above shows how the Carter-Hoffmann PUC system can work in a college environment, as exhibited here at Boston College. With reduced labor needs and increased safety, PUC is an easy solution for C&U foodservice directors looking to enhance 24/7 foodservice programs. While this helps keep students bought in to campus meal plans and ultimately benefits directors, the real benefits are experienced by the students. Just imagine if you had on-campus food options 24 hours a day!

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Topics: Colleges & Universities, Featured Innovation, Takeout & Delivery