By AUSTIN KOELLER
The University of Nebraska at Kearney has a new dining option on campus.
Little Louie’s, located in University Residence South on the east side of campus, opened Aug. 25 after Papa John’s closed due to poor sales. The location gives students the opportunity to have pizza as their dining option, and now offers late night on-campus delivery.
“Papa John’s, as far as cash sales, was doing less than 0 a month,” said Jon Watts, director of business services and accounts payable. “When you look at meal plan points, it was doing about ,000 a month.”
In comparison, Watts said Subway in the Nebraskan Student Union averages $3,000 a month in cash sales and $30,000 a month in meal plan points. As a result of low sales – and a 20 percent decrease in sales – Watts said his office decided to terminate UNK’s franchisee agreement with Papa John’s, allowing the university to be flexible with the space.
As a result, Little Louie’s was born.
“Business Services and Dining Services sat down and came up with this hybrid concept where during the day we offer it as part of our all-access meal plan,” Watts said. “In the evenings, we offer it as a retail concept to meet that late night craving that students on college campuses tend to have.”
Little Louie’s sells 16-inch cheese pizzas for $8.99 – each additional topping is 50 cents – and supremes for $10.99. Wings and cheese bread are also on the menu. Pizza by the slice starts at $1.50 per slice.
Students can dine at Little Louie’s from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 4:30 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday using their meal plan. UNK Loper Dollars can be used to make purchases from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and 7:30 pm. to 1 a.m. on Thursdays.
Little Louie’s offers free on-campus delivery to students. To order, call 865-1631.
Executive Chef Andy Decker said his vision is to offer weekend deliveries and extend campus-wide delivery to 2 a.m. He also intends to expand the menu.
“We’re thinking about starting some dessert-type options and specialty pizzas,” Decker said. “We’ll probably be looking at doing some more traditional appetizers as well.”
Decker said that he gladly welcomes student feedback on how to improve Little Louie’s.
“A lot of what we do as a whole is driven by the students,” he said. “We would welcome suggestions from people on things they want to see. We can get as creative as we want to, but we also want to make sure that the traditional pizza we do is top notch.”
According to Decker, UNK Dining Services is currently looking to hire more students to work at the Little Louie’s location. Interested students can go to the UNK Dining Services office on the second floor of the Nebraskan Student Union to apply.