A NEW restaurant, operated by the Kylemore Company has recently opened in the Michael Smurfit Business School in Blackrock. Named ‘Kylemore at Smurfit’, the restaurant opened in the first week of the semester. The company already manage ‘Elements Restaurant’ in the Science Building on the main Belfield campus.
UCD Kylemore Manager, Shauna Hanratty commented that business in Smurfit, was “going really well so far” since it began trading on September 8th. However, she added that the new restaurant is “not going to be as busy as the main campus, obviously. The concentration of people wouldn’t be the same.”
“[Success] takes a while as well. There’s a transition from a catering company that’s been there for 15 years and then a new catering company comes in… but we’re working on that at the moment.”
Ms Hanratty stated that the catering arrangement in Kylemore at Smurfit as being “pretty similar to Elements.” In describing the restaurant, Ms Hanratty explained, “we have our main hot counter where we serve food pretty similar to Elements, it’s fresh food, cooked and served that day. We also have a sandwich work-top which is quite popular.”
Ms Hanratty confirmed the contract that Kylemore established with Starbucks coffee company in Elements will be duplicated in the new Smurfit Restaurant, however patrons of the facility will have a selection of coffees for sale. “We have a deal with Starbucks, but we do Robt Roberts coffee also, so we have an alternative coffee because there are people who don’t like Starbucks coffee”.
Despite the support for the Starbucks contract, Ms Hanratty doesn’t believe the new restaurant will introduce a corresponding deal with Apache Pizza, who also trade in Elements. “I suppose it wouldn’t go down well, that’s not the case on the main campus but [in Smurfit], you’re dealing with a particular education and particular tastes.”
The decision to apply for the tender for the restaurant was party due to the ideal location of the venue. Ms Hanratty explained that “there’s basically nothing on the main campus apart from us, as the main restaurant. The competition wouldn’t be great, I suppose, and that’s an advantage”.
Despite their success with UCD students, Ms Hanratty rejected suggestions that the company would consider plans to expand the any further in UCD, for the foreseeable future. “We’ve a lot of work to do in Blackrock, we don’t necessarily take over a unit and decide that that’s the status quo. We always try to develop and move on.”