Clarion, Pa.- There is a new type of dining option roaming around Clarion University campus, the Cheez-O-Truck. Clarion University began sponsoring the Cheez-O-Truck mobile concession stand to help attract more students to campus dining. Jeff MacTaggart, director of dining services and Tim Lannon, marketing director of dining services helped to make the decision and make the mobile concession stand a reality.
MacTaggart said, “The University wanted a venue to entertain on different levels. We took over concessions before, but never like this. It will become more mobile for larger events. We also wanted to find a different venue for the commuter students because a lot of the time they are forgotten. We want to include them, and the idea of a restaurant on wheels is ideal for catering, and the community. The truck accepts all forms of currency except for meal plans. This includes flex and Eagle dollars.”
MacTaggart wanted to specialize in selling foods made with grilled cheese and made quick like grilled cheese sandwiches, cheese steak sandwich, or a grilled cheeseburger. Macaroni and Cheese is an adequate seller because it can be made deliciously and in a couple minutes.
Chartwell’s plans to travel around campus and to figure out “sweets spots” on campus. A “sweet spot” is a location in which the truck will get the most students and business.
Right now the truck has no set hours. In between Davis and the library by South Street seems to be a good sweet spot as identified by students. This location targets the sensitive aspect of commuters and it’s a good spot to grab a bite to eat and then go to the library.
The truck could also help with student events that might not necessarily be able to cover the charge of the catering and want quick, easy food.
Mactaggart said, “The main goal is to fit all the pies of the pie. We want to not only include the on-campus students but the commuters and the adult students as well.”
The ability to identify a location as a sweet spot takes a lot of strategy because of the many factors that go into play. These factors include the smell of the cooking concession foods attracting or distracting students in buildings or the parking location of the truck in areas that the noise level can be monitored.
There are several ideas in regards to what the truck hours should be as well as many ideas of how the Cheez-O-Truck can benefit students and the business itself. One of the other numerous proposals is a potential late night venue. There are very few attractions for late night food options and this could open up doors with the students.
However, the goal is to take baby steps to progress since the truck has only been rolling a week and a half around campus and hopes to continue to grow and expand.
Lannon said, “This isn’t a one way but a two way street with communication. We want to hear from the students the feedback and know what they want.” Students can follow cheezomancup on twitter and cheezoman on facebook with any feedback.