Something Old, Something New...
WINNER: BON APPETIT MGT. CO. AT THE GETTY VILLA MALIBU, CA
Entry: Ancient Food Made Modern
The Big Idea: Certainly, many onsite cafes try to reflect in some way the surrounding institution or organization. But few have gone to the lengths Bon Appetit Management Co. has in designing the menu for the Getty Villa, an educational center and museum dedicated to the study of the arts and cultures of ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria (a civilization that pre-dated Rome on the Italian peninsula). To help guests experience these past cultures and thus support the mission of the institution, the Getty Cafe features a series of dishes as close as practically possible (given ingredient availability and modern palates) to the foods of these ancient societies. Meticulously researched by Executive Chef Helene Kennan, the menu incorporates such components as caroenum (a thick sauce of boiled new wine), defritum (thick fig syrup) and a quite authentic liquamen ( a sauce reduced from fish sauce, black pepper, green peppercorns and pine nuts). And of course, because ancient civilizations lived sustainability as a matter of course (no refrigerated transport on those ancient ships!), the Getty Cafe emphasizes fresh local ingredients in its dishes. Naturally, there are also more mainstream selections (pizza, grilled chicken salad, etc.) as well as the exotic creations that provide a cultural and culinary lesson to visitors.
Project Team: Bon Appetit Mgt. Co.—Wendy Vogler (Resident District Mgr.), Helene Kennan (Executive Chef)
Aroma Therapy for Check Averages
WINNER: RESTAURANT ASSOCIATES
Entry: Hot Out of the Oven
The Big Idea: Obviously, desserts are commonly offered in most onsite dining environments. However, Restaurant Associates has kicked this standard menu section up a notch with the Hot Out of the Oven concept by making the desserts hot, customizable and adaptable to the capabilities of different units. The "hot" aspect also serves as a powerful merchandising tool, as anyone smelling sweets coming out of a warm oven can readily attest. Developed for B&I cafe and coffee bar locations in order to increase afternoon sales, increase coffee bar participation and raise cafe lunchtime check averages, the concept targets post-lunch customers and raises interest in the coffee bar and dessert stations with a selection of low-food-cost offerings.
Project Team: Michael Gallagher (VP-Culinary), Marc Scheuer (Director, Alliance Capital), Victor Dell'Aquila (Pastry Chef, Cafe 57/Hearst), Wayne Tuman (Executive Chef, Alliance Capital)
WINNER: SODEXHO CORPORATE SERVICES
The Big Idea: Customers who behave themselves are the bane of onsite dessert sales. Since lunch is seen as a "utilitarian" meal rather than an indulgent one, midday diners are generally much more apt to stay within caloric (as well as financial) budgets—which unfortunately are often used up by the time dessert rolls around. To counter this, Sodexho has designed Sweet Shots to appeal to the little sugar fiend in each of us. It's an offer only an ascetic can refuse: a smidgen of delicious sweet indulgence (about 200 calories) for a buck-49. Easy on the wallet, easy on the waistline and—most importantly—easy on the conscience, Sweet Shots is ingeniously offered in elegant little shot glasses that serve as a visual signal of sensible portioning (as well as highly practical portability). Meanwhile the decadent choices—Triple Chocolate Raspberry, Oreo Cookie Mocha, Tiramisu, Strawberry Shortcake, Pina Colada and Mango Key Lime Pie—practically dare you to refuse to get one (or more). The program increases check averages with high-margin add-on sales by taking the half-a-loaf-is-better-than-none approach to customer psychology.
Project Team: Bill Mitchell (Senior Director-National Program Development), Rich Arakelian (Senior DirectorCulinary Development); Marriner Marketing