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TIA blog series: Bringing Moe’s Southwest Grill to Colgate

By andrewmazen on October 17, 2013

Have you ever craved a burrito so much that you travel almost an hour just to get one? Tons of Colgate students feel the same way, which is why my partner Jeremy Lincoln and I are teaming up to bring a Moe’s Southwest Grill to Colgate’s campus. Moe’s, regarded as the fastest growing quick serve restaurant in the country, has an agreement with the on-campus food provider, Sodexo, which allows Moe’s franchises to operate and serve healthy burritos to the community. The ideal location would be the Edge Café, located within the Bryan Complex, which would allow meal plan money and accept cash or credit as well.

Moe's Southwest Grill

Moe’s Southwest Grill

Residents of the community and students would have access to this restaurant, which we envision to be open from lunch time until late night. Moe’s brings a reputable brand to the community, providing fast, healthy, and affordable burritos in a friendly environment. This will save community members and students time and money by traveling less than a mile to get exactly what you want!

The Thought Into Action mentors have helped us tremendously, especially with our plans after Moe’s at Colgate. Mentors John Nozell, Lynn Plant, Matteo Seconi, Hamilton Colwell, and Katie Finnegan have assisted us in formulating plans to take similar action at other institutions, providing Moe’s to other college campuses, and satisfying the student body’s desire for superb on-campus food. The TIA team has opened up avenues we never could have imagined, while also guiding us along the way and assisting in the future plans for our endeavors. Without TIA, this venture would have never even been entertained.

We welcome all forms of support in order to get this venture accomplished as soon as possible. Our goal is to have this implemented within the next year, so your support is needed to help streamline the process! Please feel free to voice your opinions by contacting either Jeremy or me.

Andrew Mazen’15 is an Environmental Geography major from Upper Saddle River, NJ. While in high school, he placed second at the 2011 DECA International Career Development Conference in Orlando, FL for quick serve restaurant management. This is his 3rd year on the varsity swim team at Colgate and he is involved in a number of clubs including The Monthly Rag, Colgate’s satirical paper.

Jeremy (Jay) Lincoln ’15 is a Psychology major with a minor in Writing and Rhetoric. He serves as the president and captain of the men’s club hockey team and also participates on the club baseball team. Jay is involved in numerous clubs and activities on campus and most recently participated in the popular on-campus play “This is Not a Play About Sex”. Jay is from Amherst, MA.



  • Ken Rodriguez said:

    Is this a real student project? Its really cool as an alumni seeing that students can now invite other food producers, other than sodexo, to provide great offerings to the students. This is a great entrepreneurial venture young students are getting themselves involved in.

    With the cut Moe’s Southwest Grill is going to give these two students, they can buy La Iguana and run it themselves!! #gettingitdone

  • Heather said:

    If You Want Burritos On Campus That Is Fine, But Don’t Do This Under The Guise You Are Helping The community. Small Business Can Not Compete With A Monopoly And A You State Only sodexco can Serve On campus So They Have A Whole Group Of Customers That Are Not Available To Everyone Else Yet They Can Still Take everyones Customers. This Is Not To Mention They Get Better Prices On Food Because They Buy In Bulk,They Can Offer Better Staff Benefits Etc Etc. Healthy Competition Is One That Exists At Colleges Where There Meal Plans Can Be Used Throughout The Town. Useing
    Your Meal Plan In Local Businesses Would Allow Student Other Dining Options As Well As Social Interaction With The Towns People, It Would Infuse Some Money Into The Town, Transportation Already Exists, And You Could Get Your Burritos.

  • andrewmazen said:

    Hello and thank you for your responses Danielle and Heather. Thank you so much for your concerns as we will do the best we can to address them. Firstly, it is not in our interest to run La Iguana out of town or create an empty storefront in the village. Competition is crucial, otherwise businesses dominate the market and do not allow for choice. An implementation of Moe’s will make both businesses strive to better themselves which will be beneficial to all consumers involved. We are certain that the La Iguana employees and owners are hardworking, dedicated, and committed to providing superb Mexican cuisine to all Hamilton residents, including Colgate students. However, there are many differences between these two businesses. La Iguana is much more of a sit-down restaurant, providing more meal options such as jalapeno poppers, shrimp, desserts, margaritas, salmon and salmon rolls, a 10 oz hanger steak, and enchiladas. None of these options are offered at Moe’s, who specializes in burritos, quesadillas, tacos, and burrito bowls. Although there is some overlap, there are many items which can help differentiate the two. We think that it is difficult to consider both of these restaurants as the same, although they might be similar in some menu items.
    La Iguana also provides a much different atmosphere than Moe’s. Moe’s is a quick-serve restaurant while La Iguana is a sit-down restaurant where families, groups, and others can sit down and enjoy a wide variety of cuisine. Moe’s is a quicker option, meaning that many customers take out food as opposed to dining in. Moe’s is here to provide meal plan options for students since many do not have the budget to eat out as often as they would like. It is difficult for students up the hill to access La Iguana, although we do not expect Moe’s to come in and take 100% of the market share. La Iguana has been around, meaning it is a well established brand and has loyal clientele, ranging from alumni to students to Hamilton residents. It has a great reputation on and off campus through the hard work and dedication of their employees.
    In regards to your final point discussing bringing in more food from restaurants downtown, this is not actually possible. Sodexo, the on-campus food provider, has an exclusive right to all dining services up the hill. The only reason that Moe’s is even possible is because of a contract agreement between Moe’s and Sodexo, allowing Moe’s to operate on all Sodexo-run college campuses.
    We envision this as a dining option which students can enjoy. There are many instances of healthy competition around town which has not deterred local businesses. For example, we have Dunkin’ Donuts and the Barge Canal or Subway and Hamilton Eatery. These are two examples of healthy competition which allows both businesses to strive to be better. Overall, all parties benefit, including consumers, which will help boost the restaurants involved. If you have any additional concerns, please send us an email as we will be happy to discuss this further. We thank you for your comments and hope we have addressed them fully.

  • Heather said:

    I Think That This Is Really Sad. An Hour For A Burrito? How About 5 Minutes On The Cruiser To The Iguana? We Want A Vibrant Downtown, We Just Don’t Want To Support It! Why Give More Money To A Huge Company When Mary And Elder Work Their Butts Off, Live And Spend Their Money Here?
    I Appreciate Wanting To Make A Difference And Being An Entrepreneur, But What Happens When You Eat Your Burritos For A Few Years On Campus, Make More Money For Moes and We Still Have An Empty Storefront?

  • Danielle said:

    My only potential problem with this is that Moe’s might take away potential business for the local restaurant La Iguana. Regardless of the restricted hours of Moe’s in comparison to La Iguana, having this service so readily available and so close to campus may prove to be stifle the economic growth/success of that restaurant downtown. I’m not sure if you’ve taken that into consideration.

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