Popular fast-food restaurant and 24-hour chain restaurants Wendy’s and IHOP are making their collegiate debut this semester on VCU’s campus.
Wendy’s, located in the hospital on the MCV campus, has been open since Sept. 2. IHOP is undergoing a building inspection next week. If IHOP passes the inspection, they will open their doors to students on Oct. 24. Unlike traditional IHOPs, VCU’s location will only be open from 8:30 a.m. until 3 a.m.
The locations will accept Dining Dollars, and Dining Services has plans to negotiate the use of dining blocks at IHOP.
The presence of Wendy’s and IHOP on the VCU campuses is only made possible through cooperation with ARAMARK, the company responsible for much of the cuisine located on VCU’s campuses, and the only company IHOP is willing to work under.
“We are actually the first school with IHOP and Wendy’s under contract,” Michael Martin, resident district manager of ARAMARK, said.
VCU is the first ARAMARK school in the country to go under contract with IHOP.
VCU’s process to introduce new dining services is a long one that begins with student input.
“We discovered that folks were interested in the diner concept,” said Dan McDonald, assistant director of Dining Services.
After figuring out what the students want to have on campus, Dining Services takes that information and finds new restaurants that they can bring to VCU.
Dining Services’ marketing and public relations manager Rebecca Jones said that VCU creates committees of students and staff and faculty members to vote on potential dining concepts.
“In the spring of 2010, we conducted an intercept survey with our students,” Dining Sales and Services manager Tamara Highsmith said. “(A team) put together a survey and went out and said, ‘What do you want?’”
In addition to Wendy’s and IHOP, VCU is introducing two other new dining services for students.
Dining Services has worked to introduce Raising Cane’s and Croutons, Salads & Wraps. Raising Cane’s is completely new to the VCU campus, while Croutons, Salads & Wraps is relocating from their old location in Park Place in the Commons.
“(Raising Cane’s) … menu is simple,” Martin said. “(They offer) chicken tenders with french fries, cole slaw, grilled texas toast bread and their secret sauce, and that’s it.”
“(Croutons, Salads & Wraps is) something for vegetarians to really meet that niche,” Martin added.
IHOP, Raising Cane’s and Croutons, Salads, & Wraps are planned to open in Laurel and Grace Place, which is located on the street level of Laurel Street Parking Deck.