Late last March, one of the newest Tech dining facilities turned one: Highland Bakery, located under Tech Tower. Since its opening, the location has received an impressive student turnout.
“It started off from the very first week as a strong, strong operation,” said Rich Steele, Senior Director of Auxiliary Services at Tech. “The interesting part is that it has been consistent form that very first week. Even in the summer, we didn’t see a significant decline in sales that we typically see in other retail operations.”
The most popular dishes include the Fried Chicken Benedict, the Sweet Potato Pancakes and the Hill Grill Sandwich.
After Junior’s Grill closed, Tech wanted to bring in both someone who understood Tech, as well as an establishment that would serve the students needs well. According to Steele, that’s just what happened with now-owner of Highland Bakery, Stacey Eames.
“Stacey understood Georgia Tech, she understood students, she knew the tastes and the plate of the students and it was just a great choice to bring her here,” Steele said. “It took some time to fully map out the opportunity and the space and how it would be laid out and to make sure it was a very efficient use of the space that we had available, but she was at the table through the whole process and was very supportive and we’re just really glad she chose to be here.”
Since opening late last spring, Highland Bakery has made some changes, including additional outdoor seating and heaters to make the area more available for students and faculty to use throughout the year, while continuing to strive for improvements.
“Look for some new, exciting updates to our menu,” said Director of Operations Scott Lopez. “One of the change we will have is offering more salads. In celebration of our one year anniversary, we will be holding a salad engineering contest where students can enter a recipe for a new salad and the winning salad will be featured in our restaurants.”
Last fall, Highland Bakery added an online ordering service, allowing those in a hurry to place their order and then head over to Highland for pick-up within roughly 15 minutes.
“We are currently looking at options on how we can accept the Buzzcard and dining dollars online,” Lopez said. “Tech is our first restaurant to offer online ordering and we are now rolling online ordering out to all of our other locations.”
Highland Bakery is also looking to expand its presence on campus.”
In addition to online ordering, Highland Bakery plans on opening other facilities around campus.
“Highland Bakery is focused on developing the concept in the library, in the old Jazzman’s location, and that will be called HB Express,” Steele said. “We should open, probably in the next week or two and that will be open for the rest of the semester. It will be dinner and late-night datebar.”
Highland Bakery also looks to put a similar concept in the EBB located on North Campus on 10th Street, as they continue to feed students, faculty and visitors.