A new dining experience for the 2012-13 school year has been implemented at Fresno State.
The Bulldogbites food truck is a mobile restaurant cooking and serving food to students for a faster, more affordable dining experience.
The truck was brought about to reach areas and students other dining services couldn’t, said Megan Sarantos of the University Center.
The truck was University Dining Services’ idea and was approved by the board of directors.
“After consultation and a market study completed last semester by students from Dr. [William] Rice’s marketing class they confirmed the need, came up with the name, and worked with us to test the menu options,” Sarantos said.
The menu ranges from breakfast to snack items priced at $6 or less. “What you see up there are our prices,” said Jessica Flores, Bulldogbites truck employee. “We make it very affordable for the students.”
In addition to being affordable, the menu is a direct reflection of what its customers want. “We did a number of polls with students, faculty and staff on what they would like to see on the menu,” Sarantos said. “We created a diverse menu for Bulldogbites that has a number of healthy options as well as vegetarian items.”
The menu will also change as the year progresses, she said.
Student reception to the truck has been positive. “We have had a great response from students, faculty and staff; very positive feedback on the menu options as well as service,” Sarantos said. Tristan Van Rensselaer, a sophomore and a child development major, eats at the food truck every other day. His favorite thing on the menu is the Philly cheesesteak, because he’s a fan of all the meat on it.“It’s better than most of the places in the Student Union and there’s a pretty good variety here,” Van Rensselaer said.
Popular items among students are the breakfast burrito and the tri-tip sandwich, Flores said.
The truck alternates between two locations: Maple Mall on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and the quad between the Social Sciences Building and the Family Food Science Building on Tuesday and Thursday. The truck is open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Those worried about the truck coming out of student fees can rest easy.
“No student fees paid for this truck,” Sarantos said. “The cost of the truck was approximately $45,000. It was funded from the Dining Services operating budget which is based upon sales from all of our operations.”
Dining Services plans to increase the success of the truck through social media and word of mouth. Sarantos sees the truck becoming a long term dining option for students. Dining Services may even implement more trucks in the future, but nothing is definite, Sarantos said.