Bruegger’s Bagels Opens on the Virginia Tech Campus

Bruegger’s Bagels Opens on the Virginia Tech Campus, Hopes to Reach NYC Campuses Next. Restaurant companies are targeting non-traditional units such as college campuses (i.e. the newly renovated Turner Place at Virginia Tech) and the concept is taking off like wildfire.

Bruegger’s Bagels, famous for their New York-style boiled and baked bagels received an overwhelming response when they arrived on the Virginia Tech campus, opening with record sales. This is their first location on a college campus and they are eager to open even more! Due to the resounding success of this location the company has made it a strategic goal to open in these non-traditional units in addition to expanding their presence in throughout the country. 

Student and faculty fanfare have welcomed the recent arrival of Bruegger’s Bagels to Virginia Tech. Opening with record first week sales, the new Bruegger’s Bagels is on campus in Turner Place, the school’s recently refurbished, state-of-the-art dining facility. “The brand instantly clicked here on campus,” said John Barrett, site manager at Turner Place for Virginia Tech, which signed a franchise agreement with Bruegger’s Bagels to bring the bagel bakery to campus. “Bruegger’s Bagels makes getting freshly prepared, great-tasting food fast and easy. Whether they’re relaxing during down time on campus or on the go, students and faculty love having this unique dining choice available at all times of the day.”

Bruegger’s Bagels showcases an array of fresh menu items, including a selection of New York-style bagels that are boiled and baked onsite. Plus, the brand offers its signature made-in-Vermont cream cheese, as well as handcrafted breakfast and lunch sandwiches and salads. In Turner Place, students, faculty and campus guests can see all items prepared in the contemporary display kitchen, and can enjoy the walk-up service window accessible from the patio.

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“It is evident that the dining experience on campuses has changed. Authenticity is very important to students. They like to see their food made fresh right in front of them,” said Tina Toole-Welch, senior director of non-traditional development for Le Duff America, Inc. “We are excited to bring our authentic bagel bakery to fantastic campuses such as Virginia Tech, and look forward to becoming part of many more foodservice hubs in academic settings.”

Known as a strong supporter of the communities it serves, Bruegger’s Bagels continues the tradition on the campus of Virginia Tech. The brand has engrained itself into the fabric of the campus community, and has plans in place to be consistently involved in student and school events.

“We’re original in every way and Virginia Tech clearly appreciates what we stand for, as well as our service delivery and the brand’s distinctive menu items,” said Paul Carolan, a Virginia Tech alumnus and chief development officer for Le Duff America, Inc., the parent company of Bruegger’s Bagels. “The new location in Turner Place carries on our commitment to be a community ally everywhere we operate. It’s great to be part of the Hokie Nation.”

The opening at Virginia Tech continues the excitement surrounding the franchise growth of Bruegger’s Bagels throughout United States. Expanding into attractive destinations and venues such as Turner Place, as well as other non-traditional settings such as airports, campuses, healthcare and hotels, the extraordinary performance of Bruegger’s Bagels bakeries is at the heart of the brand’s 2013 growth plans. Currently, 19 new units (nine franchise, 10 corporate) are planned to open in the months ahead.

Total Food sat down with Paul Carolan, chief development officer with Le Duff America, Inc., to find out more about the Bruegger’s initiative.

What advantage does a branding concept like Bruegger’s give a college food service director in attracting and keeping students in their food service facility rather then students leaving campus for a meal?
Bruegger’s Bagels is a well-known concept with more than 300 restaurants across the country. It is an authentic bagel bakery that food service directors at universities can trust students will love. Furthermore, we believe in the traditionally boil and bake method for our bagels, Bruegger’s Bagels is dedicated to bringing quality service and traditional fare to its consumers. All ingredients are fresh and we believe in baking all day. In addition, all orders are prepared in front of the customer, which allows for customization.

With increase and focus on fresh, healthy, and local, how does Bruegger’s help the college food service feeder accomplish those goals?

Fresh, healthy and local are all aspects of the Bruegger’s concept. As a brand, we have always been dedicated to the communities we serve and have a commitment to provide quality fare at a reasonable cost.
Consumers are able to customize their orders to their liking. In addition, we offer a variety of healthy menu items including hearty soups, fresh salads and egg-white breakfast sandwiches. Bagels are made fresh every day with authentic ingredients and stick to the kettle boiled and baked New York-style tradition.
Bruegger’s Bagels embraces and supports the local community. If the campus has an initiative in place to support local farmers, we are happy to embrace that supply chain. Each college has different goals and we will work with each licensee to make sure we meet and exceed their goals.

How does the Profit & Loss work in collaboration like this with a licensed franchise?

The licensee reports all the sale cost and expenses and only pays a minimum royalty fee of 5 percent. The royalty fee covers all expenses in regards to training, oversight, marketing and ongoing support.

What does Bruegger’s offer its college partners relative to Point of Sale and marketing initiatives?

Bruegger’s Bagels offers ongoing marketing support to every franchisee and licensee. In addition, we offer seasonal promotions that will entice our customers’ taste buds and spread festive cheer. We recently promoted green bagels for St. Patrick’s Day, which was an instant hit with consumers. Furthermore, we work with the licensee to schedule promotions specific to their schedule, whether they be on semester, trimesters or quarters, we are always willing to go the extra mile to support their needs.

What are the dynamics of the success that Bruegger’s has had at Virginia Tech?

The college menu has been evolving. In recent years, there has been a demand for fresh, authentic and quality ingredients. Students today are even more aware of what goes into their food and how their food is prepared. At Bruegger’s, we follow traditional recipes using only the freshest ingredients. This authenticity is what appeals to students today. 

New York isn’t Virginia. So the bar is very high for the quality of a bagel in the NY market. How will Bruegger’s compete in a more traditional bagel market should Bruegger’s start moving into Northeast campuses?

We compete very well in a traditional market because we have the traditional recipe. Each bagel is kettle boiled first and then baked to perfection using deck ovens. Our cream cheese is made fresh in Vermont and infused with signature flavors. Our recipe is unique, mouthwatering and a meal everyone can enjoy.

Besides targeting college cafeterias, what are some other recent locations whether it’s a campus or non-traditional settings? Any Metro NY or Northeast locations on your target?
In addition to college cafeterias, we have signed agreements at airports in locations including Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Raleigh. We also have opportunities to co-brand with local coffee shops, among others. We have many locations throughout the East coast. We have stores in Boston, Connecticut, Buffalo, and Albany and through aggressive franchise growth we are working our way into the Metro New York area.