Hub gains new look
Published: Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 13:02
The changes to the Hub in the Taggart Student Center have caught the attention of students.
Hogi Yogi has replaced with a soup, salad and sandwich restaurant called In B’tween and Teriyaki Stix has been replaced with The Teriyaki Bull.
Alan Andersen, executive director of Dining Services, said the company that used to own both Hogi Yogi and Teriyaki Stix recently sold out to another company. The new owner of Hogi Yogi and Teriyaki Stix, Sopra Brands, has closed down many of the corporate Hogi Yogi and Teriyaki Stix stores.
“They basically went out of business and all the franchises were left kind of a little bit high and dry,” he said.
Andersen said the changes in the company came with the hassle of franchise fees without the corporate support that usually comes with a franchise.
“The reason you own a franchise is the support they give you and the marketing they do and the name they bring to the table,” he said. “Hogi Yogi and Teriyaki Stix gave us nothing but a 10 percent charge every month.”
Instead of bringing in another franchise restaurant such as Subway, Andersen decided Dining services could do just as good of a job as a chain, if not better, at providing for students’ needs.
“It made a lot more sense to keep that 10 percent and give it back to the customer or keep it within the university rather than give it to somebody else,” he said.
Andersen turned to his dining team to come up with some ideas for Aggie original dining establishments.
Rebecca Maynard, Hub operations co-manager, said the names, color schemes and menus for In B’tween and the Teriyaki Bull were designed and brought to life by her and the other Dining services employees.
“We just came up with the name for In B’tween from the idea of two buns, everything in between in a sandwich, or if you think of the Hub, it’s right in between everything else,” she said.
Stephen Harmison, Hub operations co-manager, said the menu options are made to give the students freedom to choose but give them ideas at the same time.
“We wanted them to be able to make whatever they wanted so we left the build-your-own in there, but then we decided to add some of our own recipes to give the students some good ideas for a sandwich,” Harmison said.
Maynard said since the changes were made, sales at the Hub have been up significantly.
“We have our in-house bakery that bakes our bread fresh every day,” she said. “People just seem to like it a lot more.”
Andersen said moving away from the corporate brand names has given them more freedom to make the changes they see fit.
“By limiting that corporate tie where we had to follow their rules and stuff like that, it gave us the opportunity to branch out,” he said.
Maynard said they have made significant changes to the Teriyaki Bull since winter break.
“We started out with the idea of put your own sauce on for last semester but it didn’t really go off like we expected it to, so this semester we actually redid the menu again,” she said.
Harmison said they have also changed distributors.
“We have all new sauces and new chicken,” he said. “It’s really good.”
The name change of the pizza place from Gicci Ona Pie to Sliced is also new to the Hub.
“We thought the name was kind of weird so we changed it to Sliced to make more sense,” Maynard said.
With the new name came new menu items such as calzones, pastas and wings.
“We did a lot of surveys to see what all the customers wanted and expended and brought in new product,” Maynard said.
The new location on the outside of the Hub was designed to make more options available to students later into the evening.
“We had Taco Time on the outside where Sliced is now and saw how popular it was and how well it was doing on the outside,” Andersen said.
Andersen said the Triple Beam Bakery used to bake bread in the area but the bread-making was moved to the Scratch Bakery at the Junction, leaving a large empty space.