Porter Consulting Foodservice Planning & Design

Southern Connecticut State College - New Have, CT

In Fall 2007, Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) hired Porter to assist the University with rebidding its foodservice contract. One of the major goals of this project was to identify ways that the University and its foodservice provider could better meet the dining needs of the campus community including students (residential and non-residential) as well as faculty/staff. To this end, the University was especially interested in redirecting campus community members away from the overcrowded Adanti Student Center and in finding ways to improve the campus’s primary residential dining hall (Connecticut Hall) to make this venue more attractive to students and others. Administrators were also interested in identifying new meal plan options that would be more appealing to residential students.

In order to identify customer preferences regarding meal plans, menu variety, hours of operation and perceptions about current dining program, our team spent three days on campus conducting focus groups and personal interviews with a wide variety of constituents including students, faculty/staff and administrators. This qualitative market research was used to create a customized web-based survey which was distributed campus wide. Our team then analyzed all of the market research and developed preliminary recommendations for the University including meal plan options, hours of operation for all of the campus dining venues, suggestions regarding menu variety and selection and other programming details. Our recommendations were embraced by the University and our team used these recommendations to draft an RFP that was sent to all interested foodservice management companies. 

Once the bids were received, our team used a customized evaluation template to thoroughly review the proposals and to rate them in terms of how well each company met the requirements of the RFP. This evaluation tool was used by both Porter and eight representatives from SCSU. After the evaluations were complete, our team combined the scores to create a ranking to illustrate the companies with the most thorough proposals. Part of this ranking was a snapshot of the financial offerings from each company. This allowed the University to quickly see how the bidders had responded to the financial requirements of the RFP. After the University and the Porter team agreed on the top three finalists, we assisted the University with in-depth interviews with the finalist companies. Once the selection had been narrowed down to one company, we assisted the University the contract negotiations and the development of a management agreement.

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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