Binghamton University


Dining Program Assessment & Strategic Planning

Binghamton University retailed Brailsford & Dunlavey in the winter of 2016 to complete a preliminary assessment of the operational and financial performance of the University’s current dining program and evaluate the feasibility of transitioning to a self-operating model, under either the University or its Auxiliary Services Corporation. The dining program represented a current and ongoing opportunity to reinforce the University’s brand, enhance its recruitment efforts, and elevate its students’ quality of life experience, and University leadership sought to understand the current foodservice paradigm and opportunities for improvement. The purpose of this project was for B&D to identify the opportunities and constraints associated with all foodservice operating models with respect to staffing, sales volume, operating expenses and transition time.

The methodologies employed in this assessment included:

• An analysis of documents and data relative to the existing foodservice vendor
• A series of interviews with key University stakeholders
• A tour of all campus dining facilities
• An assessment of the dining operations
• An analysis of the existing dining services’ financial performance

After finalizing the assessment, B&D found that sustaining the existing contract-operated model was the most appropriate option for the University at the time. Despite the presence of a new 10-year foodservice vendor contract, B&D recommended that a portion of the contract be renegotiated to address how the relationship could be enhanced relative to improved integration of the BU brand. In essence, B&D found that the dining services brand should have a primary campus community image as the University’s dining services, and the vendor’s brand should be either eliminated or significantly reduced.