Cooper’s Creek, a Southern food concept at Oregon State University’s Market West dining hall, had been doing Southern food right for a few months after opening last year. Students and faculty could belly up to barbecue, blackened catfish, fried chicken, jambalaya, beef brisket, shrimp and grits, ribs, gumbo and more. The Southern food was selling great at dinnertime—but at lunch? Not so much. “We just weren’t pulling the numbers at lunch,” says Jay ...

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