Industry News | December 28, 2006

ARAMARK Unveils New Bakery Café Concept

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ARAMARK Corporation, a world leader in providing professional services, recently unveiled a new urban-style bakery concept, Bleecker Street Café, to meet the demand for more fast-casual dining options on college campuses served by ARAMARK Higher Education.

Bleecker Street Café features freshly baked artisan breads, pastries, and other baked goods, as well as signature sandwiches and paninis, made-to-order with fresh premium meats, cheeses, and vegetables. Seasonally inspired gourmet soups and salads compliment the menu offering, as well as freshly-squeezed orange juice and home-style lemonade.

“Our research told us that students were looking for more fast-casual dining options on campus, especially fresh-baked goods and gourmet style sandwiches,” says Karen Parker, national marketing director, ARAMARK Higher Education. “Our goal was to develop a brand that leverages the retail industry’s best practices, allowing us to provide students with relevance and value while also creating a connection for the campus community.”

The Bleecker Street Café offers an escape from the everyday hustle and bustle of campus life. The cozy decor is similar to a New York-designed loft with high-backed circular booths, and unique ceiling and floor fixtures that is centered around an authentic urban-style bakery.

The research-based brand was developed at ARAMARK’s Innovation Center, a 53,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility that is home to the company’s corporate research, design and culinary development resources.

ARAMARK conducted a survey of students, faculty, and staff from four-year universities across the nation. The students surveyed rated the Bleecker Street Café concept higher in appeal when compared to other fast casual dining locations and more than 75 percent of the respondents indicated that they were likely to purchase at Bleecker Street Café.

Bleecker Street Café opened this fall on several ARAMARK-managed campuses, including East Carolina University, University of Delaware, University of Minnesota, and University of Southern Maine. A national rollout is planned for spring 2007.