KINGSTON, R.I., Feb. 14, 2020 – When you approach the blue Rhody Eatz truck on campus, you smell the delicious aromas of chicken and waffles, coffee, breakfast sandwiches, hamburgers, and hot dogs. Every order also comes with a smile from Dining Services workers.
Five years in the making, Rhody Eatz food truck is up and running on the University of Rhode Island Kingston Campus. Pierre St-Germain, director of Dining and Retail Services, and Vincent Joyce, Dining Services coordinator, teamed up to make the food truck a reality. Students, faculty and staff can find the truck at different locations around campus during the day, as it offers a variety of comfort foods and even exotic items like sushi.
“Food trucks have become a trend in modern-day society and are a great offering for students who need to get to class and are looking for a quick bite,” Joyce said.
As Joyce and Desire Burtt, a Dining Services student worker and Human Development and Family Studies major, waited on customers, the Ronnie Laws song “Always There” played from Rhody Eatz. “Longtime Rhody fans know that this was the theme song to URI men’s hoops television broadcasts in the late 1970s and early 1980s,” Joyce said. “I thought we would show a little old-time spirit and have some fun.”
Rhody Eatz currently accepts cash, credit and debit cards, Ram Account and combo swipes, but is working on fully integrating student meal plans with the food truck. “Combo swipes are important because there are approximately 6,000 students on campus with a meal plan,” said Joyce. “A swipe allows students to get a meal from the food truck up to three times a day.”
“Since last week I have visited the food truck every day” said Emmett Munterich, of Cornell on Hudson, New York, who is majoring in mathematics. “Between classes, Rhody Eatz is definitely the quickest and easiest way to fuel up. This food truck definitely exceeded my expectations.”
The truck operates Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., but isn’t available when the weather is bad. Here is the schedule and other information.
“We see that Rhody Eatz is quickly becoming very popular, but we would love to expand our services by partnering with different organizations and groups on campus like Greek life, student events and athletic events, First Night, and many more,” said St-Germain. “Our goal is to see students eating on the Quad on a nice day.”
Dermot Meaney, of Southampton, New York, who is majoring in sports marketing, bought food from the truck for the first time last week. “I got a sausage, egg and cheese and a coffee. The food truck is mobile, quick and it has delicious food.”
Rhody Eatz food truck is always open to menu suggestions. “It is important to respond to the students’ requests,” said St-Germain.
Gianna Cardarelli, a sophomore public relations major and intern in the Department of Marketing and Communications, wrote this press release.