The start of the spring semester unveiled a crispy and cheesy new addition to Fairfield University’s Food Truck Village. Stationed in the Sand Bar in Loyola Lot, “At the Quad Quesadillas” offers students four new menu options in exchange for meal swipes or dining dollars: options either wrapped in a flour tortilla or served over a bed of warm tater tots.

Accompanied with a seating area protected by a large, white tent, the university’s Food Truck Village was only introduced last semester. In previous years, one rotating food truck was present Sunday through Friday. Director of Stags Hospitality Jay DeGioia reports the concept behind the village’s creation.

“The Food Truck village was designed to establish a diverse, convenient and on trend experience for the Fairfield Community,” he said. “Adding additional concepts as well as creating a safer waiting area and an enclosed dining area has really helped with the student experience.”

At the Quad Quesadillas replaced the fall semester’s addition of Jack A** Burrito on Mondays and Tuesdays. Sat beside the consistently available Zuppardi’s Pizza and a daily-rotating truck, these quick eats are open from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.. Packaged as a meal swipe with a bottled water and bag of chips, the quesadillas come in a range of four flavors: Philly Cheesesteak, Veggie, Crispy Chicken Bacon Ranch and Crispy Buffalo Chicken. 

“We introduced [At the] Quad Quesadillas to provide more variety for the campus community,” attested DeGioia. “We look at local and national trends, as well as what is popular on other campuses, and quesadillas was a concept that we felt the students would respond to.” He added that in its two weeks on campus, the truck has already become the third favorite village station next to Fork in the Road and Taste of Grill.

While the doors are closed for quesadillas Wednesday through Friday, Hot Spot Bowls takes over the Sand Bar on Wednesdays and Thursdays. An extension of Fairfield’s sushi partner, Sushi-Do, Hot Spot Bowls was also inaugurated last semester. Serving students rice bowls with either chicken, shrimp, dumplings or tofu- and with a student’s choice of sauce- the truck is currently experimenting with new menu items to potentially implement after spring break. 

As a longtime partner of the university, DeGioia states that Sushi-Do was very excited to generate its new food truck concept. Furthermore, because Hot Spot Bowls and At the Quad Quesadillas share the same rolling kitchen, operating on consecutive days makes processes such as preparation, storage and staffing more efficient. 

In an Instagram story posted on Sunday, Feb. 4, The Mirror asked Fairfield University students if they have tried the new campus quesadillas. If students had, their thoughts about the truck were also encouraged. 

Of over 250 views, sixteen students responded and only four claimed they have tried the truck – despite DeGioia’s statement that it has become a top three favorite. Emma Maselli commented: “They are really good and the staff is so nice!”

No comments were offered regarding Hot Spot Bowls or the removal of Jack A** Burrito. 

DeGioia revealed that Stags Hospitality is always looking to add to its food truck rotation while maintaining student favorites. Sunday is typically the day in which new trucks are featured. “Our most important goal is to give students a safe and enjoyable experience, that includes food that is on trend and diverse,” he explained. “We track the participation at the food trucks very closely and make a lot of decisions on who is busy on what days.”

This semester, Stags Hospitality has added Fryborg, Burger Way and Blind Rhino to their rotation, and last semester introduced two barbeque joints: What the Truck BBQ and Joey C’s Roadhouse. Additionally, the option for Jack A** Burrito to return is certainly feasible. Still, DeGioia disclosed that observations show that students “know what trucks are there and at what time.” He continued that when the university stays consistent with these schedules, the trucks do better and students are not caught off guard with their food options.

New food trucks are certainly in the future for Fairfield’s Food Truck Village. According to DeGioia, the village provides Stags Hospitality with valuable data to consider a more permanent location as well as to learn who, where and at what times students are utilizing their meal swipes. This date is taken from their meal exchange system and is constantly analyzed, along with feedback from students and staff.

“This [data] is very helpful in seeing what food trucks and items are popular and what time frames are most popular,” DeGioia confirmed. He continued to say that the decision to bring back Westchester Burger sprung directly from student feedback. “We also utilize our food truck partner who provides the same for their trucks and updates us on popular trucks throughout the region – especially in Fairfield County,” informed DeGioia.

“As Fairfield grows and student needs change it is important their on-campus experience evolves also,” stated DeGioia. 

At the end of each week, @StagsHospitality on Instagram posts the next week’s food truck lineup to ensure consistency with students. Along with meal swipes and dining dollars, Fairfield food trucks also accept credit card payments.

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