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Aramark Healthcare Introduces Quick Casual Restaurant Concept

Posted On: 10/9/2006

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PHILADELPHIA -- Aramark Healthcare said it will open its first brand of free-standing retail restaurants later this month in Houston, TX, and early next year in Columbus, OH, and San Diego, CA.

Soluna Café & Bakery is strategically developed to meet the needs of physicians, nurses, hospital employees and visitors on large healthcare campuses. Soluna will offer tossed-to-order salads, made-to-order sandwiches and premium, home-style soups in a tranquil atmosphere incorporating natural colors, environmental accents, shapes and photography geared toward the seasons.

"Bringing Soluna Café & Bakery to medical campuses is an important strategic initiative as physicians, nurses and hospital staff often have difficulty finding the time to refuel and relax during the demands of a typical work day," said Bob Carpenter, president of Aramark Healthcare. "Our research has indicated that a gap for this type of dining option exists in the healthcare setting, and developing this concept in close proximity to leading healthcare institutions allows us to meet their needs."

The first Soluna Café & Bakery will open this month and is strategically located at the Texas Medical Center in Houston, the world's largest concentration of research and healthcare institutions including The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Methodist Hospital, Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children's Hospital and Saint Luke's Hospital. The 4,000-sq.ft. restaurant is housed on the ground floor of the Bank of America Building and will feature a 60-seat dining room with an outdoor patio that can accommodate more than 40 additional guests.

The second Soluna Café & Bakery will open in early 2007 at Ohio Health's Grant Medical Center, located in the heart of downtown Columbus. The third Soluna will also open in early 2007 at the newly constructed Physicians Medical Office Building in San Diego. The 5,000-sq.ft. store is located across the street from Sharp Memorial Hospital and shares the campus with Sharp Mary Birch Hospital and Children's Hospital and Health Center of San Diego. Aramark also has plans for future U.S. expansion.

Soluna's signature menu item will be its Quiche-Adilla, one-of-a-kind recipe baked in a flour tortilla. Lorraine's Favorite Quiche-Adilla features Swiss cheese, smoked bacon and a touch of nutmeg, while the Roasted Vegetables with Asiago Quiche-Adilla consists of red, yellow and green peppers, eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash and red onion.

Soluna will offer its guests blended and specialty coffee drinks, infused teas, real fruit smoothies and desserts. Customers may also request nutritional information for any menu item, which can be printed and given to them with their order.

The restaurant's premium catering component allows for delivery of catered meals and snacks to nearby hospitals, universities and businesses. Customers will be able to order and schedule delivery by phone, fax or online.