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On-campus Beef ‘O’ Brady’s undergoes change in service style

Customers of the on-campus Beef 'O' Brady's will now have a fast-food and casual style experience with a more limited menu. ORACLE PHOTO/ BRYANT HOWARD

USF and its on-campus Beef ‘O’ Brady’s have been collaborating for over a year to review sales and the operation of the restaurant in the Marshall Student Center (MSC), with hopes to use the information to transform the establishment into a quick-service environment.

The MSC Beef ‘O’ Brady’s reopened on June 25 as a fast and casual restaurant, different from the full-service dining previously instilled. The redesign was modeled after Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Express.

In the newly introduced Beef’s express, patrons place their order at the bar and wait for their food to be picked up before getting a table, similar to a Panera Bread-style environment. The MSC restaurant is modeled after another Beef’s location in Lakeland to efficiently accommodate the 300 checks that process through the restaurant on a daily basis.

According to Jessica Cicalese, the Aramark marketing director, the decision to model a Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Express was driven heavily by student feedback and an evaluation of service times. Since Aramark runs the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s in the MSC, it was important to Cicalese to receive help from the corporate restaurant. She said Aramark worked with the corporate Beef ‘O’ Brady’s to review product mix and speed of service.

The updated menu pricing remains the same, but the food selections were downsized to the most popular items. Some of the most popular items consisted of wings, tacos and burgers. Sean Hamad, the food service director for the MSC, said by viewing previous sales and data, they were able to view the highest purchased items.

The limited options were chosen in order to produce a menu that could be executed at a fast-pace, according to Hamad.

The alcohol policy remains the same, so patrons of a legal drinking age can purchase alcoholic beverages after 5 p.m. on weekdays in the fall. Alcohol will not be served during summer hours of operations, according to Hamad.

Based on feedback from last year, many students considered the menu items to be overwhelming. By condensing the menu, the service will be quicker with an easier selection, Cicalese said.

Hamad said the quick service will benefit students since many have a limited window to purchase their meals in between classes.

“Leveraging a menu that we can produce faster at the same quality creates a better environment for students who are constantly moving,” Hamad said.

Cicalese said the reason for the transition was because students have previously expressed their dissatisfaction with the long wait times Beef ‘O’ Brady’s once had.  

“This is a pilot, so we’re open to feedback,” Cicalese said. “This was something we wanted to try for Summer B as students moved in, but we’re open for changes if we need to move back.”

Hamad said the staff would not decrease, but will be realigned. The realignment would pertain to staff working behind the counter to time efficiently help customers according to Ahmad. He said the quick service would provide more jobs because the sales would increase, therefore more income to pay more people would be available. Ahmad said the shift will eliminate the challenge of a full-service restaurant, which would include sitting down with the server and providing a tip.

According to Hamad, modeling a Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Express would assist in matching the intensity of the quick service in the food court of the MSC.

“The space will continue to be utilized as a communal space to play pool, watch TV and now a place to use if you want to spend two hours or leave and come back as you wish,” Hamad said.