Food trucks serve lunch at Bundy campus
Since construction began at the Academy of Entertainment and Technology satellite campus at Santa Monica College, food trucks have been brought to serve students during peak lunchtime hours at the Bundy campus in lieu of a cafeteria. Students and staff from the AET campus temporarily moved to the Bundy and Airport campuses, where portable classroom modules and a parking lot were added to accommodate the volume of people.
Since there are more students on the campus, an experimental food truck program emerged and, if successful, will continue until AET’s scheduled completion in 2016.
Roy Ono, president of West Coast Finest Catering, was chosen by SMC to select food truck vendors to service the campus.
“My main concerns are cleanliness, honesty and being on schedule,” said Ono.
He contracted the vendors to be at the Bundy campus from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the fall and spring semesters, rotating the trucks to be on campus throughout the week.
Complementing the diverse population at SMC, whether Greek, Argentinian, Cuban or American, the assortment of food trucks reflects that diversity.
From Monday through Thursday, the food trucks service an average of 1,200 to 1,400 students, Ono said.
Ono made sure to ask vendors to accept Visa and MasterCard.
“Parents give students, who are not working, credit cards so they can eat,” he said.
Andy’s Cart seemed to be a student favorite, serving hot dogs and gourmet sausages.
“We love the hot dog combo wrapped with bacon and grilled onions and peppers, and you get chips and a drink for $5,” said SMC staff member Ruth Casillas.
Andy’s Cart also featured “Weenie Wednesday” where students get two hot dogs for $4.
Tokyo Doggie’s chef has daily specials.
“The Philly Cheesesteak was a little pricey, but it was well worth it,” said SMC student Alex Sandoval. “It was like a teriyaki, like an Asian fusion.”
Kieran Cox, computer science major at SMC, bought a burger, fries and soda for $11 from The Aztec Truck.
“It’s good, but it’s almost a restaurant price,” he said.
From The Royal Velvet’s custom cupcakes to The Cheer Burger’s veggie wraps and Meat The Greek’s Mediterranean cuisine, the main concern is the number of customers the food trucks can serve.
“It’s the first real attempt to see if there is enough volume to support the trucks,” said Katharine Muller, SMC’s dean of external programs and institutional planning.
If the food trucks make a profit, SMC will solicit vendors to remain at Bundy. However, if the food trucks lose money, a different solution to the operation would have to be taken into consideration to provide students with food.
With the current changes undergoing at AET, programs that currently reside there would be negatively impacted, Muller said.
“There’s really no way to keep those classes going with that level of construction, so we had to relocate the current programs to Bundy campus,” said Muller.
Muller added that construction at the AET campus includes remodeling the existing building and adding a parking structure. An additional building will house the radio station, KCRW, and the journalism department in addition to the current design and technology programs.
The food trucks are expected to serve Bundy’s students and staff until construction of the new AET building is completed, which is scheduled for April of 2016, Muller said.