Above photo: Voting for the USF St. Petersburger has been extended due to poor student turnout. As of Friday, the top contenders are bacon, avocado, fried egg, cheese fries and pico de gallo. However, pesto, turkey, buffalo sauce, mushroom, onions and crispy pepperoni are also in the running. Brianna Rodriguez | The Crow’s Nest
By Jeffrey Waitkevich
It’s bigger. It’s badder. It’s burger.
Sodexo and The Reef are unveiling a new 8-ounce burger with four toppings voted on by students: the USF St. Petersburger.
Mark Davidson, executive chef of Sodexo, hopes the burger will become a staple of USF St. Petersburg.
“Burger King has the Whopper; McDonald’s has its Big Mac; we just wanted us to have our signature burger … one that students could call their own,” said Davidson.
The burger is expected to cost more than a normal burger because it will have double the meat; however, the toppings have yet to be decided.
Voting, which is being conducted on The Reef’s Facebook page, has been extended due to poor student involvement. As of Friday, the leading contenders for the four toppings are bacon and avocado with 18 votes each, fried egg with 15 votes, and cheese fries and pico de gallo tied for the final topping, both with 13 votes.
The burger is part of The Reef’s marketing initiative to keep the grill interesting. Davidson said that this could lead to “pick your own sandwich of the month” contests in the future.
Margarita Schneider, marketing and event coordinator for Sodexo, put up signs in The Reef to advertise the contest. She also led the social media charge by sharing the poll in various USF St. Petersburg-related groups as well as The Reef’s Facebook page.
On the Facebook page, “The Reef at Usfsp,” Schneider recommended non-traditional toppings, like potato chips, salami, Doritos and ranch.
Her rationale was that if she recommended outlandish suggestions, it would open the poll for nearly limitless suggestions.
“[Students] will see we will actually go out and get whatever ingredients they want,” said Schneider.
When asked about similar projects, Davidson pointed to a previous 8-ounce burger at The Reef called the “Bodacious Burger,” which was only served after 4 p.m.
The USF St. Petersburger will also only be served at dinner time because of how long the extra meat takes to cook. This will likely limit the consumers to mostly residential students, said Davidson.
And just in case a giant burger with four toppings isn’t enough, fries will be included in the meal.