|J&W Delivers Contemporary Rustic Italian|
Red Sauce’s pastas, pizzas and sandwiches built buzz at Johnson & Wales University.
When the time came to design a concept for a vastly underserved area of campus at 10,700-student Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I., contemporary rustic Italian became the winning idea, according to Steven Sandblom, director of Campus Dining.
“Whenever you do a poll of what students want it is always pizza or burgers,” Sandblom says. “We already have a burger concept on campus and [Italian] can still provide a lot of variety. We wanted to go with a quick-casual concept so it would be something students could eat very quickly between classes that would also have all-natural and delicious food.”
The concept became Red Sauce, which opened in September 2010. Red Sauce provides students with a lunch, dinner and late-night dining option, open from 11 am to midnight every day. All food is made fresh using natural ingredients, says Sandblom. The concept is doing about 10,000 transactions per week.
Menu: The menu at Red Sauce includes pizzas—by the slice and by the pie—made-to-order pastas, sandwiches, calzones and salads. Sandblom says the most popular item by far is the chicken broccoli Alfredo, which features penne, broccoli, chicken, garlic and Alfredo sauce. Other menu highlights include a rustic meat lasagna; an Italian sandwich, made with ham, salami, capicola, provolone, lettuce, tomato, oil and balsamic vinegar; and a chicken pesto calzone, which features chicken, red peppers, pesto and mozzarella. No individual menu item is more than $6.
Sandblom says the biggest challenge with Red Sauce has been keeping up with the crowds.
“This place has just been way busier than we could have imagined,” Sandblom says. “It was just so busy we didn’t have enough walk-in space. We had to beg the culinary college to give us a walk-in on the loading dock.”
Source: excerpted from FoodService Director, March 15, 2012