TUCO – Innovative Food Concepts

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TUCO – Innovative Food Concepts

How receptive are students to brand new food concepts?

Students and millennials are a hugely powerful consumer group. Research suggests these young adults are increasingly looking to be stimulated by their food choices, and that having an immersive dining experience is just as important as the food and beverage on offer itself.

One of the biggest challenges university caterers face is capturing students’ imaginations, luring them away from the high-street where they are competing with popular American-style casual dining outlets and expanding barbecue concept venues. With this in mind, Big Al’s Foodservice has developed a suite of concept led catering solutions to rival these chain operators.

Big Al’s offers four branded concepts: Big Al’s Diner, Big Al’s Deli, Grill Guru and Foodees. These concepts are all based around some of the most up to date UK and European food trends such as Americana, healthy eating, flame grill and BBQ, as well as innovative street-food. Big Al’s branded concepts are guaranteed to increase sales, improve profits and drive footfall to operator’s establishments.

1) Big Al’s Diner is a food concept packed with personality. From the early days of Route 66, the American diner has been an iconic all-day dining experience. Providing a fresh take on the classic American diner, this concept is designed to transform establishments into on-trend, go-to eateries for snacks, on the go meals and all day dining.

2) Big Al’s Deli is committed to serving the finest quality ingredients and perfect for food lovers. The Big Al’s Deli branded concept is a great addition to education venues and offering diners deliciously fresh dishes.

3) Big Al’s Foodees is designed for food lovers, with high quality dishes at its heart. With the continuing growth of street food, consumers are increasingly seeking new and innovative ways to enjoy eating on the go. Menu choices range from gourmet Chilli Con Carne to prime lean steak and authentic hand-twisted stone baked pizzas. The foodees concept is suitable for universities and, in fact, anywhere consumers look for great tasty, convenient food to go, snacking and lunch options.

4) The evolution of casual fine dining has seen the revival of flame grilled flavours, with premium burger chains growing rapidly across the UK.  The Grill Guru food concept from Big Al’s celebrates their unmistakable flame cooked taste. Menu offerings include Buffalo Chicken Wings with a mesquite glaze and flame cooked seasoned beef burgers made with the finest quality meat. A full suite of point of sale is available to give your customers a more premium, fast-casual dining experience.


How quickly should university caterers be implementing the latest catering trends and concepts in their offering?

It is important for university caterers to keep up to date with the latest catering trends and concepts. A key advantage of using branded concepts and self-branding is the extra profitability that undoubtedly comes with it. Branded concepts drive sales and additionally drive profitability. Studies show there is a 40% increase in footfall and consumer spend with branded concepts. A branded concept also offers operators a way to compete with the ever growing number of high street food brands and chains. Through installing graphics and branding, an area can be created where consumers feel they are part of an immersive dining experience.


Should innovative food concepts come with its own branding, POS and marketing? If so, should this be provided by the suppliers?

By using POS and branded marketing support to compliment branded concepts, operators are sure to make their branding stand out. An all-in-one, all inclusive branded concept, such as those Big Al’s offers is sure to provide a 360° solution. Getting a concept right depends on the environment, demographics and overall physical space of the site. Big Al’s four branded concepts have been developed with this in mind and these can suit various channels. Big Al’s product range offers a complete menu solution. The diversity of the range helps operators create a menu that counteracts menu fatigue. Through offering branded marketing support, operational toolkits, menu engineering and design and profitability calculators, Big Al’s branded concepts all deliver a package aimed at getting operator’s branding perfect.

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