By Christy Song, Daily Staff Reporter
Published January 1, 2014
It’s official: the West Coast smoothie shop Jamba Juice has made its way to Michigan.
Jamba Juice and several other franchises, including Picasso Deli and Starbucks, will open on July 13 at locations within the University Hospital system.
Along with the new restaurants, the University plans to enter a four-year contract with Picasso Restaurant Group, which will take over management of Nick’s Café in the North Ingalls Building, Atrium Healthy Heart Café in the Cardiovascular Center and Java City in the University Hospital and Cancer Center Link.
Nick’s Café and retail food vendors at the Cardiovascular Center and the University Hospital and Cancer Link will be closed from June 30 to July 6 to finish the transition to the new space.
While Aramark, an American food service provider, was in charge of all of the venues in this location, PRG will take over those in the hospital in July. Aramark will still be the primary retail food supplier for the University Hospital Cafeteria, East Medical Center, and the coffee kiosks at Taubman and the University Hospital.
Craig Luck, contract administrator for the project, said that bringing in PRG will help create a greater variety of food selections and accommodate more customer preferences.
“We wanted to expand our variety so that was one of the reasons we split it up because we thought it would bring in competition — good natured competition —between the two,” Luck said. “We were just looking at increasing the variety and giving the customer more choice.”
Aramark also has plans to enhance retail food locations at the hospital. The main cafeteria will change into a Subway restaurant and the soup station will expand. Pizza and grill stations and a new family dining area will also be added to the venue.
Additionally, a guest restaurant section will feature a variety of regional restaurants — rotating on a daily basis.
To cut back on unhealthy foods, the cafeteria will stop using grease fryers and will place nutrition fact labels on all of their products. Luck said 60 percent of the daily menu items at the University Hospital Cafeteria and Nick’s Café meet MHealthy guidelines.
Although Aramark and PRG are the exclusive food service contractors for now, the next round of open bidding will take place in four years.