Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

FEB 2019

Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazines is an industry resource connecting foodservice operators, equipment and supplies manufacturers and dealers, and facility design consultants.

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116 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • FEBRUARY 2019 market spotlight Top limited-service chains in terms of growth in this segment include Fuzzy's Taco Shop, Torchy's Tacos and Costa Vida Fresh Mexican Grill, according to the Technomic report. Chuy's, Uncle Julio's and Gloria's Latin Cuisine are growing full-service concepts in the Mexican space. "The challenge is many of these restaurants are region- ally based, but they're succeeding in spite of the fact that they're chains," says David Henkes, senior principal of Technomic. "Taco Bell has had strong success and is continu- ing to grow, and Chipotle, now run by Taco Bell's former CEO [Brian Niccol], is growing at about 6 percent. This is much less than the 14.6 percent from 2017, but it's still growth." A Ripe Climate The strength and appeal of the Mexican restaurant segment led food management company Aladdin, the education and healthcare arm of Elior Co., to create Chilaca. "The top three retail brand concepts [for college students] are Chick-fil-A, Starbucks and Chipotle, so we brought in Chilaca as our internal brand," says Joseph DeSalvo, director of operations for Aladdin. Aladdin introduced its new Chilaca Mexican concept to students at Fairmont State University in Fairmont, W.V., a college for which the contract feeder provides foodservice, at the start of the 2018-2019 school year. The university's central kitchen supports the fast-casual restaurant for both prep and cooking functions. Campus staff then transfer ingredients to its Falcon Center dining hall. Here staff make tacos, burritos and salad bowls to order, Chipotle-style, in front of customers. "It's fresh Mexican prepared the way customers want it in an upscale environment," says DeSalvo. "We took a square footage footprint that had two concepts last year and made it into one, Chilaca — and doubled our retail foodservice sales with it." Chilaca's success largely comes from providing students the type of food they prefer, says Guy Kellner, the uni- versity's senior director for culinary The made-to-order format of Chilaca enables Fairmont State University students to customize tacos, bur- ritos and bowls.

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