By: Bailey Hendricks, Assistant News Editor
Towson University will replace Roadside BBQ, located in the West Village Commons, with a Panda Express this semester as part of the University’s regular brand rotation to stay current with industry trends and to vary dining options on campus.
The decision to replace Roadside BBQ with Panda Express came after Auxiliary Services held a number of focus groups 18 months ago, wherein the department offered options by category to participants.
“Panda was the overwhelming choice in the Asian concept category,” Associate Vice President of Auxiliary Services Dan Slattery said. “Also factoring in was its tremendous track record nationally for driving increased sales.”
The new Panda Express, which will offer all menu options of a regular Panda Express, will open Jan. 30, the first day of the spring semester. The new venue will be located in the same place as the old Roadside BBQ in the West Village Commons food court; however, it will jut out slightly into the center area of the food court.
“I would expect the change to be welcomed since students had an integral part in selecting this as a preferred option,” Slattery said. “I would also guess that there may be a few folks disappointed that the Roadside concept will be gone.”
Slattery said pricing at the new location will be comparable to other on-campus food options, but he explained that there are royalties that need to be paid for advertising the national brand and the privilege of offering it on campus, which could impact pricing.
Auxiliary Services is currently “in the midst of dining master planning for the entire campus that will help inform our decision-making process for the next several years,” especially with regard to upcoming renovations to the University Union and the Glen Dining Hall, according to Slattery.