Out of just 290 square feet of store space, new employees are creating Which Wich sandwiches inside Texas Woman’s University’s Classroom Faculty Office building.
There has been a growing need for quick food options on campus, as students have outgrown most spaces. At the same time, the Dallas-based sandwich shop chain is trying to give customers new options in different formats and wanted to try something new, said Jeff Vickers, vice president of development at Which Wich.
“It’s a unique space, and an extremely strong idea,” Vickers said. “We’re a Texas-born concept, and we like to try new things and be able to monitor them. ... The big thing is we’re looking at growing [the Denton] market as well, and where we’ve seen success throughout the U.S. is having the traditional store front complemented with college store fronts.”
For TWU, the concept is one they hope resonates with the entire community, said Beth Lewis, director of dining services. As the student union and other campus dining options are becoming increasingly crowded, students and staff members can swing by and get a sandwich to take with them to their next meeting or class.
“We have some space in the building for those who want to sit and wait, but we really pursued this concept because it is for the student on the go and the professional on the go,” Lewis said. “This concept will meet our needs today, but it is also designed to meet our growing population.”
TWU is one of the first 10 college campuses to have this type of concept, and he said they are happy it’s within a market they already know.
“We’ve had tremendous success [in Denton] at the traditional level, and we wanted to do a complement to that existing store, and who better to go after than the college students?” he said.
“Ideally, it’s about capturing those college students when they’re in school, then when they graduate and move on we’re creating those Which Wich lifers to go to the traditional store fronts.”
Which Wich opened its first Denton location in 2011 at Rayzor Ranch, and plans to open a second traditional store front by 2016.
For this store, Which Wich is contracted out by Aramark, which operates dining services at TWU. The sandwich shop already had a relationship with Aramark, so the partnership worked well.
The shop will have the full sandwich menu, but no shakes. It will also have pastries, breakfast items and vegan options like the grab-and-go station that used to be in the same space, Lewis said.
Meal plans for traditional and commuter students will also be able to use meal swipes at the location.
Lewis estimates the store will get about $300,000 in revenue, after TWU Food Services and the capital investment from the food service contractor spent about $260,000 on the project.
JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @JennaFDuncan.