Zipcar car sharing coming to Loyola and other city colleges

Zipcar, the car sharing  service, is coming to Loyola University Chicago, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Here is a portion of the Sun-Times story:

Car-share company Zipcar and Ford have a deal to put 1,000 Focus compact sedans into its hourly rental fleets on 250 U.S. campuses, including those of Columbia College, DePaul University, Loyola University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, the University of Chicago and Northwestern University

 “Because of Chicago’s large number of universities and urban transportation habits, the city is a key target for this initiative,” said Ford Motor Co. spokeswoman Megan Whatman.

 The program gives Ford access to young potential car buyers who might not otherwise try a Ford. It also lets Zipcar, which went public this spring, piggyback on Ford’s growing image as a tech-savvy automaker.

 “The technology in the new Fords looks more like an Android or iPhone,” says Zipcar CEO Scott Griffith. He says Zipcar members are “early adopters, always on Facebook and other networks, always carrying smartphones — the MyFord Touch and Sync technology, they’ll want to test it,” thus boosting Zipcar rentals.

 Cambridge, Mass.-based Zipcar has 605,000 members, known as “zipsters,” and a worldwide rental fleet of about 9,000. It’s the biggest U.S. car-share service; college rentals are about 10 percent of its business.

 Ford and Zipcar both are exploiting students’ ambivalence about, even sometimes hostility toward, cars.

 “They live their lives as much on the Internet highway as we did on the paved highway,” Griffith says.

 Even so, “As much as you want to be socially networked, you’ve still got to have groceries. You have to go somewhere to buy your Kraft dinners in bulk,” says Zipcar expert Mary-Beth Kellenberger, global aftermarket research manager at Frost & Sullivan.

 And that makes it a good deal for Ford, putting its cars in front of young people, most of whom have yet to own a first car but likely will before too long.

 “The No.1 reason people leave Zipcar is to buy a car,” says Bill Ford, Ford Motor chairman. He says that purchase is “heavily influenced by their Zipcar experience.”

 Griffith says the 1,000 Fords will become about half of Zipcar’s 250-campus college fleet, leaving 20-some rival vehicles splitting the other half.

 The Focuses, as well as a few Ford Escape SUVs, will arrive immediately for the fall semester.

 Ford also will help discount Focus and Escape rentals, making them $7.50 an hour (including fuel and insurance) instead of Zipcar’s usual $8.50. And the first 100,000 new Zipcar members will get their annual membership for $20 instead of the usual $30.

 “It will drive some marketing buzz,” Griffith says. “Students are savvy; they like to go for a deal.”

Loyola Chicago Chick-fil-A to feature new look, menu items

Loyola Chicago Chick-fil-A owner Lauren Silich and family
By Sarah Bechtol

The new Chick-fil-A at Loyola University Chicago‘s  Water Tower Campus promises a new store design as well as extra menu items not offered at the chain’s other outlets.

When the Water Tower Chick-fil-A opens June 16, it will feature new menu items, including oatmeal, a breakfast ciabatta sandwich, oatmeal chocolate chunk cookies, and possibly more in the fall to offer during the colder weather.

“We were looking for items that would appeal to the urban consumer a little bit more, like cookies are more portable, oatmeal is good for the Chicago winter and very popular here, and it’s easy to execute as far as an operational perspective,” said Lauren Silich, who owns the franchise for the Water Tower Chick-fil-A.

“It’s cool to bring an old brand with some new twists. The store’s actually, for lack of a better term, a concept store for the chain, it’s going to have a new design, new branding, new photography and artwork, so it will look different, but all the things that people love about Chick-fil-A will still be there,” Silich said.

Silich looks forward to the grand opening in June and is still looking for more employees to recruit. College students across Chicago from school’s like DePaul, Columbia, Moody Bible, and of course, Loyola, have been interviewed for a Chick-fil-A position.

Silich seeks leadership potential and a friendly face in her college recruits. “A lot of the interviewing for Chick-fil-A is based on character and the ability to just make customers smile, be happy, teamwork oriented, somebody who wants to contribute and know that whether or not they decide to make Chick-fil-A a career, they’ll always use this experience to help with their leadership development,” Silich said.

Silich, along with Chick-fil-A’s Chicago Market Expansion team consisting of three other people, Kayla Smith, Trevor Hanion, and Trevelle Harvey, have sifted through about 450 resumes and hired a good amount of employees.

They’re looking to hire about 90 people by the end of May, and Silich is excited to become a part of her worker’s paths to success.

“Sometimes those jobs in college are the ones that stick with you. Those are when you’re learning who you are and the kind of companies and people you want to work for in the future. I would love to be a part of that,” Silich said.