The U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA) Exchange opened the first Bun-D restaurant in CONUS Nov. 18 and did so in record time—the restaurant was up and running 14 days after construction started.
When it was time to replace the Wing Zone restaurant on campus, the Exchange was committed to responding to the USAFA superintendent’s desire to provide additional healthy choices for Cadets.
While there are Bun-Ds at 16 Exchange locations overseas, there were none in CONUS and USAFA seemed like a perfect fit for the clean-eating restaurant.
“This was possible because of our great relationship with the installation and the vendor,” said Lawrence Simmons, Exchange Colorado Consolidated general manager. “We were on the same page from the start, which allowed things to move quickly.”
Also aiding the quick turnaround time was that the space only needed minor upgrades, but the estimated timeline was originally about 30 days.
“It took a lot of long hours to make it happen, but we exceeded command’s expectations,” Simmons said. “They were very pleased.”
Bun-D focuses on natural, unprocessed ingredients for its menu, which includes salads, wraps, rice bowls and smoothies.
The new restaurant is located in Arnold Hall, which sees a lot of foot traffic from Cadets, Airmen and civilians, especially during special events like parents weekends.
The grand opening won’t take place until the new year, but the restaurant is up and running—and winning rave reviews.
“People like the options, the generous portions and the value, but the service is key,” Simmons said. “The staff is very friendly, and you can tell their interactions with the customers is sincere.”
The second U.S. Bun-D location will open at Fort Carson, Colo., in January. The Exchange will also be opening Bun-Ds in Kuwait and United Arab Emirates in the coming weeks.