I know that you’re only here for one reason: Yes, the fried chicken sandwich (2.0) will be back on the menu the first week.
In all seriousness, 2 Stay 2 Go is back this semester, and they’ve made some pretty major changes. Starting April 1, they will open up again at 208 Dryden Road for dinner on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, as well as brunch on Sunday. Their team has expanded, adding around 40 new students. With this larger team, they now have the ability to expand their focus far beyond the storefront.
After running a very successful operation in the fall, the core team was able to reflect back on their experience and reposition themselves to be even bigger and better this semester, starting by expanding to delivery and catering. They will be partnering with DoorDash to deliver throughout Ithaca and reach the greater community.
Additionally, they will be rolling out a two-pronged catering program. On one side, they’re working with nutrition and food science students, as well as athletes, to produce healthy, well-balanced meals for sports teams, while still staying true to their high-quality and locally sourced roots. On the other side, they will be running a typical catering business based off of their regular menu items.
Although 2 Stay 2 Go is a Collegetown restaurant run by college students, they’re still taking strides to reach out to the greater community through philanthropy. 2 Stay 2 Go has previously partnered with Million Meals Mission to raise awareness for food insecurity and provide meals to those in need.
This semester, they are adding even more ways for their customers to get involved. In addition to their mains and sides, there will also be a donation section on the menu with suggested amounts and information on how that money directly supports those in need. Every dollar donated provides up to five meals to food insecure communities, making it easier for customers to get involved and become active partners in ending food insecurity.
Furthermore, the staff is also encouraged to participate in this mission through a more hands-on approach. In their free time, the interns and staff are committed to volunteering in local soup kitchens (contingent on COVID-19 restrictions) and giving back to Tompkins County. This helps to actualize their mission and commitment to ending food insecurity, as well as connect the Cornell community to the residential communities around us.
The team at 2 Stay 2 Go noticed that there are other ways of giving back to the community beyond donating their time and meals. Taking care of your community starts with taking care of the planet. In addition to partnering with local suppliers and producers, the 2 Stay 2 Go team is making changes that reach beyond the kitchen. To further their commitment to sustainability, they replaced the plastic packaging and cutlery of last semester with paper and compostable materials.
After operating a restaurant for six weeks last semester, the team was able to take everything they’ve learned and decide how to refocus their efforts this semester. Undoubtedly, the food will still be amazing, and Bobby Dandliker ’22 and Noah Horns ’22 will continue to deliver high quality, delicious meals. They’re so fortunate to have the support of other Collegetown restaurants, their local suppliers and the university who have all recognized their tenacity and commitment to excellence. However, at the end of the day, Chloe Kubrin ’22, Daniel Jones ’22, Samay Bansal ’21, Dandliker and Horns are still students — albeit successful, restaurant-running students.
While 2 Stay 2 Go may be a business, more than that, it’s a family. The friendship and mutual respect that have blossomed between the five young restaurateurs throughout the past couple of months is the real reason why 2 Stay 2 Go has been so successful. They all wholeheartedly believe in sharing this experience and growth with their peers. This is why they’ve expanded the team — nay, the family — to include other students who are just as passionate as they are.
From the beginning, every menu item, sourcing decision, marketing strategy and financial statement has been the efforts of the student-run team. At 20-something years old, they have all learned what it takes to run a successful business and are now taking greater lengths to bring corporate social responsibility to the forefront of their value statement. They are expanding from just providing students a great meal to “looking outside of [them]selves,” according to Bansal; they strive to make a lasting impact and bring change beyond 208 Dryden. Although these are lofty goals, there is no doubt in my mind that they will continue to exceed all of our expectations.
Sarah Austin is a current sophomore in the School of Hotel Administration. She can be reached at [email protected].