• November 24, 2014
  • Welcome!
    Welcome | (Logout)
  • RSS
  • Contact
  • Archives
  • About

Alligator

Reitz food court overhaul costs $2.3m; Wendy's to close

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Thursday, April 9, 2009 12:00 am

UF and Wendy's are breaking up, and it's not on the best of terms.

Carl Hoover, franchisee for the Reitz Union Wendy's, said he's disappointed in the way negotiations with Aramark, UF's food service provider, transpired.

He said the increase in rent and an added utilities charge were too steep, and thought that after 14 years of good relations with UF, the university would have had more interest in keeping the chain on campus.

"They just raised our rent so much they pushed us out of business," Hoover said.

Reitz Union director Eddie Daniels said Wendy's' on-campus sales have been lagging.

"I'm not sure what's happened over the last few years," Daniels said. "Subway has grown every year and Wendy's has been pretty flat."

This runs counter to the rumor, propagated by students and campus tour guides, that the Reitz Union Wendy's is the busiest in the world.

Hoover said some of his other Wendy's franchises in Gainesville make more money than the one on campus.

He said, if anything, the Wendy's at the Reitz Union has the highest rent of any Wendy's in the world.

"There's no one that pays as much," he said. "Not even close."

If all goes according to plan, Hoover will close his Wendy's, the restaurant named for founder Dave Thomas' daughter, Melinda "Wendy" Morse, a UF alumna, on May 1.

Either a Burger King or a Cheeburger Cheeburger will replace it. The Burger King at Broward Dining Hall could become a Green Street Diner in 2012, according to UF's food service contract.

Meanwhile, Subway will move downstairs and Papa John's Pizza could take its place. Nature's Table might fill the other open basement spot, and Freshens will likely remain open, edging out Jamba Juice.

Pollo Tropical will replace Capeesh, and Noodle Bar will become AFC Sushi.

The changes are part of a $2.3 million Reitz Union culinary makeover. About $1.7 million will come from Aramark and about $600,000 will be funded by UF.

Welcome to the discussion.