‘We proudly serve Starbucks’ is the official banner under which Eurest will be serving the hot beverages of the American coffee chain. This means the campus caterer will be delivering the concept in line with Starbucks' price and other agreements, but will have some flexibility in, for instance, the product range, gearing this to the campus and its users. “We will be allowed to sell other products in another price category, for example,” says Monique Kuyck, head of Operational Services at Internal Affairs.
Coinciding with the arrival of Starbucks, the company restaurant in Vertigo will undergo a modest restyling. The emphasis will be on creating an inviting and convivial atmosphere, as well as considerably increasing the number of seats, ranging from benches to study spaces. The furniture, such as some tables and the familiar Eames chairs, will be reused where possible.
In the restaurants of other TU/e buildings, the range on offer will change somewhat in the next academic year: Eurest is keen to operate a variety of catering concepts (such as Foodflip, Love My Curry and Smart & Fresh) at the various locations. The basic product range will stay, Kuyck assures us, “we will continue to base what we provide on the existing program of requirements. But we are keen to push the boundaries and are always looking for ways to introduce more variety, for example.”
Variety and distinction
In recent years the canteens have primarily been "kept up and running,” says Kuyck, and she says there has been little time to do other things, such as introduce proposals taken from TU/e's hospitality and catering vision of the future. More variety and distinction are just two of the items on the wish list; the university also wants to take (greater) account of a possible increase in demand outside office hours, and of the international character of the TU/e population. The findings of a recent survey should help establish the direction of catering in the coming years.
Recent inspiration-gathering initiatives have included a visit to the High Tech Campus Eindhoven, together with a couple of student members of the University Council. According to Kuyck, they were very impressed by the wide range of catering concepts and presentation they saw, “but the prices there are much higher. Our target group is different; if a meal here costs more than five euros, we don't sell it. Quality at the lowest possible prices remains our guiding principle.”