Life University

Marietta,

Foodservice Management And Operations Consulting Assistanceinterim Residential Dining Programming

In 2015 Life University was planning to construct the first of three on-campus apartment-style residential buildings. Each building would contain approximately 250 beds, and each apartment would have a kitchen. At the time, capacity at the campus’ only foodservice facility was challenged, and there was a need to develop and implement a mandatory meal plan to divert students and other campus community members to an interim dining venue to be constructed in the first of the three planned buildings. As a result, the university retained B&D to analyze this need and to recommend the most financially viable solution that would also efficiently and effectively serve its campus dining population. Our analysis was guided by discussions with, and information provided by, the university’s project stakeholders. Issues presented included the need for a foodservice contractor with an off-campus kitchen, potential transportation concerns, necessary equipment, the use of technology for food production, pre-ordering, meal plans, and menus. Our recommendations included:

• A mandatory minimum purchase of declining balance dollars meal plan should be initiated, which would have a direct impact on both the service style and type of equipment needed for the interim dining.
• Breakfast, lunch, dinner, beverage, and snack menus were outlined, which would provide a wide variety of choices and satisfy contemporary tastes.
• An outdoor grill station was proposed for the area adjacent to the dining facility, serving both meat and vegetarian food items.
• Consideration should be given to the manner in which the food would be served, by an employee or self-serve, since this would impact the University’s financial exposure during the interim period.
• Equipment for the interim venue should be purchased with an eye toward its future use in the new student union.