Nova Southeastern University

Fort Lauderdale,

Dining Master Plan Advisory Services

During the fall of 2016, Nova Southeastern University engaged the advisory services of Brailsford & Dunlavey to develop a dining strategic plan for the university’s Fort Lauderdale-Davie campus. Community engagement and a student-centric environment were at the core of the university’s mission and its leadership understood the importance of a strong dining plan. Prior to this engagement, B&D had created a comprehensive housing master plan responding to the university’s Vision 2020 which projected growth in the undergraduate population and a resulting need for more residential housing. With a focus on residential growth, the university identified a need to evaluate how its dining program should evolve to meet its new focus on the residential undergraduate student experience.

To understand the university’s food program challenges and areas for improvement, the B&D project team created a work plan that relied on the housing master plan’s student survey and focus groups for dining services. The dining team developed two dining demand models that varied based on enrollment projections, and delivered three scenarios showing the financial impact of closing and consolidating some dining venues.

After integrating all the findings of its research and analysis, B&D recommended that the university streamline and stabilize its dining program to enhance operations and campus appeal by reducing oversaturation in areas where it exists and closing concepts operating at a financial loss. Specific recommended immediate next steps were:

• Work with students to transform the unpopular concepts in the food court and provide offerings that better met student preferences
• Identify a contract administration oversight team to take immediate steps to stabilize program operations
• Engage an independent designer to propose revised facility layouts and capital cost projections for a hybrid retail and all-you-care-to-eat facility in the University Center

Taking these steps will help financially right-size the program and support future reinvestment in its quality, renovations, and improvements. Importantly, they will contribute to the sense of campus community and the residential experiences so important to the university’s Vision 2020 mission.