Shake Smart has 13 locations across the country, but the shop in front of the Recreation Center has slight variations in the menu due to non-compete agreements with Campus Dining.
The Shake Smart website features four different varieties of oatmeal bowls, breakfast and lunch wraps and cold brew coffee that are available at the majority of their locations. However, at the Cal Poly’s Shake Smart, those menu items are not available.
According to Cal Poly Communications Specialist Aaron Lambert, when Shake Smart came to campus with their pitch, they branded themselves as purely a protein shake shop.
“Students were focused on a product line of protein-heavy workout beverages. Shake Smart was different from Lucy’s and Jamba Juice because they focused on pre and post workout shakes,” Lambert wrote in an email to Mustang News.
Shake Smart opened on campus in May 2017 with an eight-year contract with Cal Poly. It was designed to come to campus as an on-the-go stop for students who wanted healthier options for Campus Dining, “at the time of signing a contract the first goal was to serve the gym crowd,” President and Founder of Shake Smart Kevin Gelfand wrote in an email to Mustang News.
“There was already plenty of sandwich options, plenty of wraps, plenty of breakfast options in that area of campus,” Lambert wrote. “Working with Shake Smart not only provided their primary product line but allowed them to also offer some items like peanut butter sandwiches, bowls and snack bars.”
The wraps and oatmeal that are shown on the website are advertised with the ingredients they contain and how much protein they have, contrary to the Avenue oatmeal.
Shake Smart is also prohibited from selling their cold brew coffee because it competes with the Starbucks on campus. According to Gelfand, they cannot sell the coffee as a natural pre-workout drink because of a non-compete agreement with Starbucks.
Wine and viticulture sophomore Taylor Edwards, a shift lead manager at Shake Smart, said it would be in the company’s best interest to provide students with a variety of food options.
“The cold brew coffee would be good to sell because sometimes people don’t want to wait in line at Starbucks for that, and they don’t want to make two trips,” Edwards said.
In the beginning of the 2018-19 school year, Cal Poly implemented a meal credit option. Shake Smart, however, does not qualify for meal credits.
“Declining balance was a big argument because the Shake Smart creators came to campus to try and fight for meal credits, but campus said that this was not a meal,” Edwards said.
Wine and viticulture freshman Amanda Thornton said she thinks she eats at Shake Smart more than anywhere else on campus.
“I would buy the wraps, and the oatmeal from here because I feel like it’s a healthier option, and I know that they’re preparing it back there fresh, more than like stuff that they may have had frozen and taken out of the fridge at other places,” Thornton said.
Recently, Shake Smart was given the okay to begin selling their signature overnight oats, a new item on their menu for students to grab and go before or after the gym.
“Not offering the wraps and hot oatmeal helps us increase our throughput significantly as our shakes, bowls, PB sandwiches and overnight oats are a lot faster to make versus the other items. We may increase our ticket average, but guest count would go down,” Gelfand wrote.
For now, students can still expect to see the limited menu with their newest addition of overnight oats.
Editor’s note: The article has been updated with the correct spelling of a source’s last name.