Trusted and Trendy College Businesses

With a revolving influx of new students each year, business owners on college campuses will always have a steady stream of customers. While some businesses are always going to be popular in this environment, adapting businesses or opening new ones to match current students’ taste can ensure that a business maintains a steady stream of customers.   

Trusted: Coffee Shop 

College students love coffee. Spend time around a college campus and you’ll see students holding cups ranging from convenience stores to national chains to local shops. The coffee shop is not only a place to get caffeinated — they serve as study spots and meeting places, or just a nice location to hang out in between classes. 


Trendy: Cat Café 

Originating in Taiwan before booming in Japan, cat cafes began appearing in the United States in the mid-2010s. Usually charging an hourly fee, patrons can spend time with cats in a relaxed setting. Students who miss their pets at home can unwind between classes, or even try and get some work done with a four-legged friend by their side. Cat cafes can also partner with local humane societies and cat rescues to help with pet adoptions.  

Trusted: T-Shirt Printing 

Whether it’s for student organizations looking to give out freebies to attract new members or vendors printing merchandise to sell to fans at sporting events, a lot of t-shirt printing gets done on college campuses. While e-tail options for custom shirt printing exist, local businesses can promise faster turnaround times and knowledge of the campus environment. T-shirt printers can also offer attractive job and internship opportunities to students in the college’s art and design program.  

Trendy: Boutique Resale 

Featuring a curated collection of high-end clothing and carefully sourced vintage pieces, boutique resale stores are an attractive market for students who enjoy fashion but don’t want to spend the time picking through the racks at thrift stores.  

Trusted: Pizza 

A staple of student organization meetings and late-night events, pizza is an ever-popular way to feed several people affordably. With a wide variety of toppings and advancements in non-dairy cheese technology, pizza can satisfy multiple tastes and dietary requirements.  

Trendy: Fast-Casual Cafeteria  

As dining trends change, fast casual restaurants appeal to students looking for higher-end meals at lower prices. Fast-casual restaurants offer higher quality ingredients or more unique meals than typical fast-food restaurants, while reducing costs by eliminating table service. Some chains have even moved to a more cafeteria-style business model, with premade meals ready to be picked up and eaten by hungry students.   

Trusted: Sports Bars 

Even if the school doesn’t have a massive sports program, students will want a place to watch the teams they support, eat some food, and have some drinks. A promising sports culture can make this business more appealing with memorabilia and visits from past athletes, but it’s not a requirement.  


Trendy: Craft Cocktails 

Compared to the sometimes-rowdy nature of sports bars, craft cocktail bars offer a more elegant drinking environment. Perfect for a romantic or celebratory night out, craft cocktail bars typically feature drinks made from high quality ingredients, prepared by staff who view their work as an art form more than simply mixing drinks.  


Even the most long-running businesses need to make some changes to keep up with the competition — a decades old pizza parlor may have the best slice in town, but without the ability to order online they face the risk of losing business to more convenient options. National chains have begun experimenting with technology to create a more user-friendly experience, from delivery trackers that inform customers the moment their pizza comes out of the oven to self-driving cars with compartments that keep each order hot. Interplai provides Artificial Intelligence-backed technology that can have a positive impact on a college business — whether it’s well-established, or about to open. With Vehicle Route Optimization increasing delivery success and efficiency, connections to third-party drivers increasing delivery capacity, and electric delivery robots to provide automated environmentally-friendly delivery, Interplai can take care of the delivery end to keep your business competitive 

For more information, or to contact Interplai, please email at: 

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Collaboration is at the very heart of  Interplai. We are looking to use software, robotics and autonomous vehicle technology to solve a big problem by facilitating collaboration in new ways at every step along the way.  Let’s Work Together.

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