Other 2013 Best Concept Winners:
- Best Customer Concept: Univ. of North Carolina Hospitals
- Best Management Company Concept: Sodexo
- Best New Facility: Virginia Tech
- Best Renovation: Northeastern University
- Best Special Event Concept: St. Paul (MN) Public Schools
- Best of Show: Henry Ford Hospitals
- Best Wellness Concept: Sodexo
- Best Menu: Bon Appetit
- Best Convenience Retailing Concept: Univ. of Massachusetts-Amherst
The humble meatball gets the upscale treatment with this gourmet panini concept from Restaurant Associates, which offers four exotic meatball choices, six toppings and four breads for customers to mix and match.
The meatballs are the star attraction with selections like one combining pork shoulder, prosciutto, hot cherry pepper and cipollini onions. Another has Angus beef, ricotta, parsley and black pepper. Toppings include saffron aioli, olive-caper tapenade and spicy pepper relish while the breads include ciabatta, rosemary focaccia and seminola hero.
The concept is paired with RA’s 1727 Deli Station, where sandwiches retail for $5.75, while Paninoteca selections are $6.25, so they help boost check average while also increasing customer counts. Meanwhile, there is no additional labor due to the 1727 Deli pairing, and the food cost of Paninoteca is a very acceptable 38%.
Bill DeSoto - Executive Chef
Frank Miglino - Director of Operations
Sean Collins - Food Service Director
Matt Pisano - Marketing Manager