Dark Meat Lightens Fare at Wrap

In case you’re still in the dark, white meat is out at the Wrap.

One of the few quick and inexpensive restaurants in Harvard Square, the Wrap made some changes last month that will make it cheaper and potentially faster.

To cut costs, the popular student snack stop isn’t serving white meat chicken in its wraps and burritos anymore. Patrons will now be served dark meat, at a lower price than before, unless they request otherwise.

So a basic small or large chicken wrap will now set students back $3.95 or $4.95, though they can pay an additional 75 cents for white meat.

Salvator AiroFarulla, director of operations for the Wrap, said the decision was a response to financial pressures.

“Our food costs seem to be creeping up slowly, so we decided to raise the price for [white meat] chicken,” he said.

The move to dark meat chicken accompanies a new cashier system—installed in an effort to make Wrap service speedier and more accurate.

“The system gives us a better use of reports, so we can track what we’re selling,” AiroFarulla said. “We can get a better sense of trends before they’re happening.”

One trend the Wrap has already noticed is that a smaller number of customers than expected have chosen to shell out the extra 75 cents for white meat.

“As it turns out, people really aren’t as particular to white or dark meat as we thought they would be,” AiroFarulla said.

Yet some students said they didn’t request the upgrade because they had not realized there was a change and expressed sadness that white meat wraps will cost more than before.

“I’m concerned that I won’t be getting a high-quality product, because I didn’t know that I had to ask for white meat,” said David L. Kowarsky ’05. “They didn’t tell me you had to choose when I ordered the last time.”

The changes in technology and poultry are slated to hit all of the Boston area’s Wraps this fall. AiroFarulla said Harvard Square got the changes first because of the location’s high volume.

“Because the store was the busiest and has been so, the computer system was hit the hardest,” he said. “It was the most worn just by hitting the buttons.”

AiroFarulla added that over the winter all the stores will be remodeled. Most of the work at the Harvard Square location will be done during winter break when students are away, he said, though the restaurant will likely remain open throughout most of the construction.

“They need a little face-lift after four or five years,” AiroFarulla said.

Along with the renovations to the six existing locations, another Wrap is due to open soon near the Children’s Hospital in Boston.

—Staff writer Katherine M. Dimengo can be reached at dimengo@fas.harvard.edu.