The following recommendations focus on retail dining, improving the guest experience, and addressing long-term needs from location, cuisine offerings, trends, and access to food on campus.
The images and concepts used in the following vision plan attempt to visualize the intended mood and conceptualize the design direction. These images do not represent actual concept renderings for proposed spaces.
2019 - Student Center South
Mondo Subs is a retail brand with an original personality, offering high-quality unique gourmet sub sandwiches, flatbreads, signature sides and distinctive, warm homemade spiced chips.
2019 – Student Center Satellite
Food Court Re-Opens
A visual food court refresh began Summer 2018 and will bring an improved look and guest experience to Satellite dining operations. Tandoori Nite will be relocated to the current Kim Son location and will feature action cooking. Kim Son will take Tandoori Nite's current footprint. Sushic will now feature counter service. Drexler's will undergo a refresh as well, and new tile work will be installed throughout.
UH Dining believes Satellite has the right brand mix for today's audience. This refresh will focus on updating the look and feel and overall experience for guests in those brands.
Food court refresh funded through Federal disaster relief funds due to Hurricane Harvey.
Starbucks and Smoothie King will undergo refreshes and repairs due to Harvey-related damages in Fall 2018. The brands will have newer brand visual components. In the food court, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell will also receive a visual refresh. Starbucks and Smoothie King will re-open in Spring 2019 with a modern design.
Tandoori Nite to Replace Taco Cabana
Dining Services proposes that Tandoori Nite replace Taco Cabana in Fall 2020. A popular and authentic brand like Tandoori Nite will create excitement and drive additional traffic to this location.
New Ghost Restaurant Concepts
Both a Latin and Italian concept will be offered on campus in Fall 2020. The brands will be named Asado - Burritos and More and La Cucina – Modern Italian and will be available through Boost mobile ordering.
Cougar Village Cashier-less Market
To maintain the availability of convenience items to the residential population while maximizing personnel resources, Cougar Village will house a cashier-less c-store similar to the Law Center Market and ERP’s Avenue C.
Guests will be able to access Cougar Village Market 24/7. Product will be kept stocked and have the flexibility of 24/7 access without the need for a dedicated attendant.
2022 – New Retail Center Concept
Food Hall replaces Satellite Dining
The Food Hall is a special experience as it puts cooks back in the stations, eliminates machine-made food, and pulls together all the elements of locality, socialization, technology, and worldly culinary experiences that are so important to Gen Z. Offering an open floor plan where freshly prepared food is made directly in front of guests, food halls provide action seating and an authentic experience. Post-industrial interiors and local food concepts provide authenticity and the environment this generation seeks out.
The popularity of food halls in Houston and the State of Texas has created excitement and opportunity in the food industry. The first food hall opened its doors in 2007 and experts see this new type of food venue rapidly expanding over the next several years. The City of Houston itself has two major food halls opening within the next 24 months.
The UH Food Hall will build on this trend to bring a unique retail environment to campus, featuring modern architectural designs and engaging environmental features both inside and out.
Incorporating a diverse set of food concepts is essential to the success of the food hall. UH Dining will introduce international cuisine through internal and local brands. Strong national brands will serve as anchor brands to drive the success of the venue.
As an alternate concept, an opportunity exists to add a made-to-order pasta station under Chartwells' 2.Mato brand.
Large tables that allow students to connect with their peers in large groups and maximize both the look and feel of the seating area.
Located near the Arts District, the Food Hall will have outdoor patio seating that will offer students the most scenic views of the UH campus. Guests can enjoy the vibrant outdoor space while gathering around a meal.
Seating areas built around the cooking that offers a view of the action and enhanced transparency allowing students to view how their meal is prepared.
Sustainability is far more than a color (green), it’s about people, the choices they make, and how our efforts to condition student behavior. The Food Hall will be a hub of sustainability efforts that will be visible and one of the primary storylines of the new space.
Purchasing decisions, building materials, and packaging selections all have a sustainability cause and effect. The story behind all these decisions must be front and center. At the Food Hall, this story will be told in a very public way; from signage, dashboards, and markers within the physical space to posts, blogs, and pics on social media.