In an attempt to keep diners on campus, Vanderbilt University has started a program to offer foods and food service locations with more variety than an average university cafeteria.
One of the concepts is a 650-square foot tiki-themed food stand in the university's Varsity Market, called "Ro*Tiki." Students order made-to-order wraps, panini, salads, sandwiches, soups and pizza from an 11-foot tall talking tiki pole with a touch-screen system. Fabricating the facility, which once held a deli, cost $61,000, but the investment has paid off as sales went up 16% in the first two months. The facility also won "The Big Idea: Customer Service Innovation" award from the National Association of College and University Food Services in the Convenience Store division and Food Management magazine's "Best Concept" award in 2006.
Because of the fickle nature of students, the facility was planned to stay in place for 5 years. After that time it will be re-themed. That only leaves two more years for Vandy students to enjoy the aloha spirit!
Find out more about Ro-Tiki at the Vanderbilt University website