UM

UM Dining Services going mobile with new 'Galloping Griz' food truck

2013-03-05T21:15:00Z 2013-03-30T08:56:46Z UM Dining Services going mobile with new 'Galloping Griz' food truck missoulian.com

The newest University of Montana “dining room” arrived aboard a flatbed truck Tuesday, rolling onto campus after traveling cross-country from New Jersey.

The maroon, silver and white “Galloping Griz” food truck is now staged outside Washington-Grizzly Stadium and will begin serving food at Missoula College’s West Campus and on UM’s main campus in early April.

“The truck will have double duty, serving Missoula College during the day, then at night it will provide late-night service on the west side of campus,” said Mike Spencer, assistant director of residential dining.

The Missoula College’s West Campus, home to the Department of Industrial Technology, has an aging dining facility where renovations would have cost roughly $250,000. On the main campus, students often respond to Dining Services surveys saying they’d like more late-night food options.

The Galloping Griz cost $169,000 and travels easily between locations, Spencer said.

It will debut on April 8, the day students return from spring break. It will serve breakfast and lunch food, including “traditional fare” like hamburgers and chicken strips, as well as daily hot meals.

The truck will be staged just outside the existing West Campus kitchen from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Students will be able to order at the window, then take their food “to go.”

At night, the Galloping Griz will serve affordable, quick service options on UM’s campus, Spencer said.

Initially the truck will park on the west side of the campus, near many of the residence halls. It will most likely operate on weekends and on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, starting at around 8:30 p.m., Spencer said.

“We’re going to start at the Lommasson Center. We’re going to look at maybe moving it around on campus,” Spencer said.

The state-of-the-art truck includes a full kitchen run by a generator and includes an air-conditioning unit. Dining Services will hire a student manager to run the late-night service and have existing Missoula College staff run it there, Spencer said.

UM got the idea for Galloping Griz after seeing a similar truck at the University of California Santa Barbara, Spencer said.

“I think it’s starting to become a trend,” Spencer said. “But usually we try to stay ahead of the curve and get out in front of it. The food truck will be a fun environment for our students.”

Reporter Jenna Cederberg can be reached at 523-5241 or at jenna.cederberg@missoulian.com.

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(5) Comments

  1. George W Hayduke
    Report Abuse
    George W Hayduke - April 08, 2013 9:14 am
    Update: Due to Engstom's bloated salary the U of M has had to lay off the staff for this truck. It is being remodeled into his own personal RV, which we Missoulians are paying the fuel bill for.
  2. Waltzing Matilda
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    Waltzing Matilda - March 06, 2013 11:57 am
    Seriously? The University of Montana sent $170,000 in Montana taxpayer money out of state for this? Is there not a Montana company that could have built this truck? Talk about fiscal irresponsibility.
  3. mister smarty pants
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    mister smarty pants - March 06, 2013 9:19 am
    That sounds, well, logical, especially when you consider the difference in climate between MIssoula and Santa Barbara. Also, how many trucks are there to serve the over 19,000 students? It would be interesting to know the evaluation process they used to decide that this made fiscal sense. But in order to "stay ahead of the curve and get out in front of it" you can't always use logic.
  4. BobbyLee
    Report Abuse
    BobbyLee - March 06, 2013 8:11 am
    - "But usually we try to stay ahead of the curve and get out in front of it."

    Sounds about right for a director at the UM. Thanks for the laugh Jenna.

  5. detonate
    Report Abuse
    detonate - March 06, 2013 5:22 am
    Money is real tight now and I'm not sure this was even close to a fiscal, prudent decision...? 170,000 is a pile of dough if your following a sustainable management vision. Using anything from the state of California as a reference or recommendation as to viability is silly. No one besides the state of Illinois is near fiscal ruin like the Sunshine state. I see a huge red flag on this one...Huge. "The food truck will be a fun environment for our students". Take out a $170,000 loan, pay for labor, fuel, licensing, and maintenance and your 6 feet under. Contract out the private sector and receive a nominal fee and we stay in the black...These types of decisions need to stop.
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