Parkhurst Dining Services, a division of Eat’n Park Hospitality Group—headquartered in Pittsburgh—challenged the company’s college caterers to see which could sell the most food to its students for Super Bowl festivities and tailgating.
“Only 10 people purchased food with us for this event,” said Kim Novak, general manager for Parkhurst at Mercyhurst College. Of those 10, “a few were faculty.”
Despite students having a span of a week and a half to purchase food from the Egan Cafeteria for Super Bowl parties—an expense they could have made with dining dollars or campus cash—less than 10 did so.
Junior Michelle Tatavosian was one of those who decided against it.
“It’s cheaper to go eat at Egan or buy food from Wal-Mart before the Super Bowl than pay for catered food from Egan,” she said.
Novak was not surprised that many students chose not to purchase their Super Bowl food.
“This is not uncommon,” Novak said, “People would rather go out to eat and drink” instead of buying food from the school cafeteria.
Another reason for the lack of interest is that Erie “has many teams here: Steelers, Browns, Bills, and not everyone wants to cheer for the Steelers,” said Novak, a devout Browns fan.
This is true, especially when almost all of the food items on the menu had Steelers’ names associated with them, such as ARTichoke Rooney Dip, 3 River Sausage & Dip and Steel Curtain Pizzas.
“We advertised well using the napkin holders in Egan, the Portal and the Morning Buzz,” said Novak, who has managed Egan and its services since August 2009.
The average price for the items on the menu was $22.25. Most of the menu items served 15 people or more. The “3foot” Super Bowl sub with chips, which serves 25 to 30 people, cost $65.
“The food was too expensive, and my friends and I had fun making our own food for our Super Bowl party,” junior Jackie Ropelewski said.
Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh won Parkhurst’s challenge for selling the most Super Bowl food to its students, Novak said.