Catamount Eats food truck prides itself on providing friendly and fast service, great flavors, location convenience, and a safe eating environment for all students. Their devotion to serving food that students may not find anywhere else on campus is like no other location at WCU.
Raven Campbell has been the sous chef with the Catamount Eats food truck since the summer of 2022. From her start to the present, she has worked tirelessly to update the food truck which, in her opinion, had become stagnant and was underutilized for its potential.
“It had been in the same place, had no management team, and had the same menu for years,” Campbell said, “the food truck was on campus, but it wasn’t being noticed”.
The underutilization of the Catamount Eats food truck became the basis of her desire for change.
In her role as the sous chef for the food truck, she is responsible for ensuring that all orders are prepared according to preference, dietary needs, and food safety standards.
The real work happens when the doors on the truck are closed.
“I prep the truck with supplies and food for 2-3 hours each morning, clean the truck for 1-2 hours at the end of each day, and deep clean every Friday,” Campbell said.
“When I am in the office, I have to plan out weekly specials, place orders for adequate food and supplies, create employee schedules, conduct inventory, and project forecasts for labor and sales.”
All of these components work hand in hand each day to bring you the fresh, interesting meals and specials we can expect from the Catamount Eats food truck.
Throughout the summer, Campbell worked with the Catamount Eats food truck, moving it from location to location and testing out new menus in the slower summer months.
“Once I was working full-time on the truck, I began working with the marketing team to move the truck around campus during the summer semester to see the success it would have. This is the period that the new menus were created as well. Summer isn’t quite as busy as the fall and spring semesters, so we are hoping this is when we can test a few more menus,” she said.
Campbell used the data gathered from that process to refine menus and locations for the busier fall and spring semesters.
“I have aided in the addition of two new menus, Asian Cuisine, and Mediterranean Cuisine. Both provide fresh options for those with diverse dietary needs,” Campbell said.
Through all the experimenting, Campbell realized that some old things were too good to change.
“We have returned to the same location (between McKee & Killian) for the spring and fall semesters because it provides a food option for those leaving class and [don’t] have enough time to make it to either of the dining hall locations,” said Campbell.
They anticipate returning to the fountain location again in the summer to continue refining future advancements but are also looking into moving the Catamount Eats food truck to serve for a day or two at the Health and Human Sciences (HHS) building next semester.
In the past six months, sales on the food truck have done nothing but increase and it is the hope of Campbell, and all the people who are so deeply involved, that they continue to see numbers grow.
In the future they hope to add a new location, features and weekly specials. This means that they can continue producing quality food and hosting fun interactions that will bring in new customers and keep the old ones returning.
Soon, students can look forward to seeing a few more menus that they plan to begin to incorporate into the rotation. Additionally, they also hope that with the success of the Catamount Eats food truck this year, they can start to expand its use into WCU events like football tailgating, graduation, HHS, and much more.