Porter Consulting Foodservice Planning & Design

Bucknell University - Lewisburg, PA

In Fall 2004, Porter Consulting assisted Bucknell University with rebidding its foodservice contract. The client’s goals for this project were to make dining a distinctive part of the student experience, extend hours of operation in the campus dining venues to satisfy students’ desire for late night dining options and to create outlets that not only serve high quality food but also foster staff/student interaction.

Our project work began with a campus site visit. During the visit, our team conducted focus groups and/or personal interviews with all campus constituents including students, faculty and administrators as well as dining services staff members who had a vested interest in any changes the University planned to make. We used the qualitative market research to create a web-based customer preference survey which was distributed campus wide.

Our team also completed a benchmark survey of Bucknell’s peer institutions so that the client could quickly see how the University's dining program compared to those at other selected higher education institutions. The results of both research tools were used to draft recommendations illustrating specific steps the University could take to enhance its campus dining program. They included more flexible and user-friendly meal plans, extended hours of operation, enhanced menu variety and selection, and suggestions for improving catering and vending operations on campus. The University adopted these recommendations which were used to create a Request for Proposal.

The Porter team managed the entire RFP project with client interaction at every crossroad from bidder pre-qualification to issuance of the RFP to conducting finalist interviews to site visits to final contract negotiations. When the project was complete, Bucknell University had not only a much-improved foodservice program that meet their defined goals, they also had a new three-year contract with a qualified foodservice management company that included a guaranteed $1.8 million return in clean commissions to the University.

Projects & References

Brigham Young University Idaho
College of Saint Benedict
Concordia College
Ferris State University
Johns Hopkins Health Systems
Montcalm Community College
St. Bonaventure University
San Jose State University
SUNY Cortland
University of Colorado Boulder
University of Richmond
University of New Hampshire
Wellesley College

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