The grind never stops

Student-run breakfast delivery business launches after extensive planning


Connor Powley

Applied Arts and Technology teacher Patricia Riley and her Entrepreneurship class prepare delivery carts for The Daily Grind, a new ARHS breakfast delivery service.

Melissa Dai, News Editor

Over the past few months, a group of business students led by senior Project Manager Kevin Palma have channeled their entrepreneurial spirit into developing an ARHS breakfast delivery service called The Daily Grind, officially launching it on Thursday, Jan. 14 and Friday, Jan. 15.

 With the help of Applied Arts and Technology teacher Patricia Riley, the students have compiled a breakfast menu for The Daily Grind that includes an assortment of food and beverage options from Armeno’s Coffee Roasters and Chick-fil-A, available for purchase exclusively to ARHS faculty and staff.

“We wanted to use local companies, so we picked Armeno to [supply] our coffee,” Palma said. “Then, we had to find a place for food. We kind of had our hearts set on Aero Coffee Roasters, but they weren’t able to do breakfast sandwiches, which a lot of the faculty wanted according to a survey from our Entrepreneurship class. So, we went with Chick-fil-A.”

The Daily Grind initiative began as a project of Riley’s business students during the 2019-2020 school year until COVID-19 thwarted their plans. Fortunately, Riley was able to revive the project by carrying it over to this school year. 

“[My students last year] were working on getting this up and running for the fall, but with COVID, that didn’t happen,” Riley said. “So, I approached the Entrepreneurship class to see if that was something that they wanted to do. They did, so we worked on building the Entrepreneurship curriculum into this project. It’s real-world application for the students, which I love.”

Excited about this new business venture, the Entrepreneurship class got to work, first brainstorming ways to adapt to COVID-19 restrictions. Eventually, the class came to a consensus: breakfast delivery. 

“Once we decided that we were going to go with the delivery option, we split up into specialized groups—Marketing, Finance, Operations and Communications—and planned out exactly what to do,” Palma said.

Through extensive collaboration with both each other and outside food businesses, the Entrepreneurship class made their vision a reality.

“The teamwork is just amazing,” senior Head of Finance Ryan Walker said. “Everyone has come together with all new ideas. It’s amazing how much everyone works together to mix ideas and make it go smoothly.”

In the past few weeks, The Daily Grind team has focused on promoting the business. They first sent out an email blast to all of the faculty and staff, then went door-to-door to spread the word about their services.

“I think my favorite [promotional effort] was when we handed out menus and punch cards to every teacher to make sure that they knew about [The Daily Grind],” Palma said. “We also made an Instagram ( account that we want people to follow because [it’ll] be giving updates.”

To receive their food on a specific day, faculty and staff are required to place their orders on The Daily Grind’s website a day in advance. According to Palma, this system works out well.

“After our first day [of ordering on Jan. 13], we had about 20 different people order from The Daily Grind, which is pretty exciting,” Palma said. 

This success on Jan 13. directly translated into a smooth first day of deliveries on Jan. 14.

“Everyone received their food on time and ready,” Palma said. “… People got to choose if they wanted it delivered second or third period, so there was a cart going around making deliveries at that time. We just knocked on the door—we didn’t interrupt the class—and we gave the teacher the food. It was a quick, no-contact interaction… Our customers gave us extremely positive and helpful feedback… Also, [teachers] could have stopped the cart as it passed by and ordered food that they didn’t have to order ahead for.”

Fortunately, the breakfast delivery service will not just be a one-time occurrence; The Daily Grind team instead hopes to open every week.

“I don’t know how it’s going to happen, but I want Daily Grind to be open every Thursday and Friday from the beginning of the second semester because if we get momentum, then I don’t want to lose it,” Riley said. 

To make this happen, The Daily Grind team must work to overcome the challenges that come with all start-up businesses.

“Just like with any new business’s start, we still have to get into a groove of collecting orders, organizing and delivering [every week],” junior Head of Marketing Mina Utzschneider said.

Opening weekly is just a short-term goal for The Daily Grind; beyond that, the team has much more ambitious aspirations.

“This is only the start to something bigger that we have planned,” Palma said. “Serving to kids is a big thing that we want to eventually incorporate, but we can’t really start that right now. We also want to eventually be able to have a cafe setting where people can come and relax during a study or a free period, grab a bite or do some work. That’s the end goal.”

Although there are no concrete plans for The Daily Grind cafe yet, Riley has a vague vision for her team to pursue.

“My goal is to have [The Daily Grind cafe] in the teacher’s lounge, and students would run it,” Riley said. “It would be open to faculty, staff and students, so it would be kind of a co-mingling place for everybody.”

With these ambitious goals in mind, The Daily Grind team looks forward to the future of their business.

“We know that this is just the beginning,” Palma said. “We’re ready for anything that comes to us.”