Furman University

Greenville,

Foodservice Programming And Architect Selection Advisory Services

Furman University hired B&D in 2015 to assist with a Request for Proposals process to select a new dining contract operator. The university wanted its dining services program to provide a competitive advantage in the marketplace by continuing to attract high-quality students, faculty, and staff; achieving and sustaining high campus community satisfaction scores; and meeting all financial goals in an open and transparent manner. We assisted Furman in the following ways:

• Drafting the RFP
• Coordinating mandatory campus tours
• Conducting a technical review of the submitted proposals
• Facilitating finalist interviews
• Navigating the University through a successful contract negotiation process

As a precursor to the RFP, we conducted a dining program assessment in order to establish a baseline for the RFP process and to provide clear, concise recommendations on how to address issues through the RFP process. This foundation enhanced the process’s value by identifying clear areas of improvement and growth that aligned with the university’s objectives. Therefore, proposing contractors had a clear sense of purpose and understanding of what the university needed. The work plan for this project consisted of the following:

• Research and assessment of the current dining program and campus community survey processes
• Development of a discussion paper and workshop
• Assistance in designing the appropriate RFI/RFP process and documents
• Guidance through the contract negotiation, transition, planning, and coordination processes
• Design of contract compliance measurements and an operational / financial performance audit
• Interviews with on-site faculty, staff, and administrators
• An electronic survey of the campus community
• Student focus groups
• Analysis of the university’s financial and operational data

As a result of this research and analysis, we recommended proceeding with the RFI/RFP process and continued to work closely with the university, including negotiating and executing the new vendor’s contract and transitioning that vendor, as needed. Ultimately, the university selected a new contract operator with program offerings and a vision that better aligned with its institutional values and supported the student experience.