Coming soon to the students of Oxford: College Meals on Wheels. Beau Hiner, owner of Doughby’s, is spearheading the effort to launch this new meal plan delivery service.
Targeting college students in the Oxford area, Hiner is offering a variety of options for lunch and dinner meal deliveries.
Though the name resembles the well-known non-profit, Meals on Wheels, which serves the elderly population, this for-profit program holds no connection. Hiner said the domain name was available, and he wanted to convey his college target audience and the delivery component.
College Meals on Wheels will be operating out of the Doughby’s kitchen. When the website launches in the next two weeks, students will be able to customize their meal plans under a semester contract. Though committed for a semester, you can pay monthly or an upfront semester payment. There is no flat rate; you choose how many meals you want per week.
“There’s a bigger discount when you pay upfront,” Hiner said. “It just costs a bit more when you pay monthly. “
In order to provide high quality ingredients, payment must be done before delivery. Though he is still pricing food, Hiner estimates that each meal will cost $10-13.
“It’s how I price my food,” Hiner said. “I want to lock in my food price. If they don’t pay out, I can’t guarantee on their end.”
When curating their service, students can choose what days they want food delivered (Monday-Friday), if they want one or two meals a day and how many people in their household. For now, Hiner said the service would primarily target off-campus students. The minimum order would be a one-person household with three meals for the week.
Hiner plans to serve dishes from cheese omelets to tilapia and jambalaya. He is committed to finding fresh, delicious recipes for students.
“I love to cook,” Hiner said. “I love to try different foods. If I find a really great recipe, I’ll bring it to College Meals on Wheels.”
Hiner’s said the biggest obstacle for the project isn’t the food, however.
“With COVID-19, I’m still waiting on my website to roll out,” Hiner said. “It’s been kind of slowed down because of COVID.”
Enjoy what you're reading?
Signup for our newsletter
Hiner’s interest in this project started when he heard complaints from his employees (who are Miami students) about their current meal plans. Most fraternities that aren’t provided with a chef offer optional delivery meal plans for their members to sign up for.
“I have fraternity guys that work for me, and they’ve been complaining about how bad their service has been,” Hiner said. “A lot of fraternity guys like Doughby’s and the quality of the food we serve.”
Miami sophomore Andrew Santacroce is a member of Kappa Alpha (KA). An employee at Doughby’s, Santacroce found himself wishing the food service at his fraternity house was as good as the food served at his job.
“We came together because Doughby’s has the priority of serving good, clean, non-processed foods,” Santacroce said. “We thought we could serve these fraternities, including my own, better food for the same price and provide an all-around better experience.”
The current meal service is not flexible enough for the men in KA house. Meals are delivered twice a day, but they aren’t left out for long. If you miss the food, you go uptown for some grub.
“Oftentimes, the meals would be thrown out after two hours instead of left out until the next meal time,” Santacroce said. “We were resorting to fast, greasy, processed food. That quality of food, it’s not good for you.”
Santacroce is passionate about this project because of his position as kitchen steward at his fraternity house. He thinks the lifestyle of constantly buying fast food is not good for the health or wallets of his fraternity brothers.
“I have a lot of faith in the food that we’re serving,” Santacroce said. “I know, at Doughby’s, we don’t serve processed food and the food is locally sourced. It feels good to have decent food.”
Though the idea started with fraternity houses, the meal plan is open to anyone in Oxford who wants fresh meals brought to their door.
“I think the biggest thing we are aiming for is quality and customer service,” Santacroce said. “It’s a local business, and Beau obviously has experience serving college students — he knows what they like.”