In Spring 2006, St. Bonaventure University (SBU) re-enlisted our firm to follow up on master planning work (performed in Spring 2005) with an operations audit to include a business systems study. During preparation for the beginning of the operations audit, SBU was presented with an immediate challenge when the director of the school’s contracted foodservice management team on campus resigned. Porter quickly revised plans for the study and proceeded to perform market research and complete the operations audit but then followed up with assisting SBU with every step of rebidding its foodservice contract through the award to a new management company. Steps in the process included pre-qualifying bidders, issuing the RFP, evaluating the bids and conducting finalists’ interviews and contract negotiations. The new contract included an increase in clean commissions from the previous contract.
In addition, the University hired our design team to assist Cannon Design of Buffalo, New York with the renovation and design of Hickey Dining Hall, SBU’s residential dining venue and the creation of the new Hickey Cyber Café adjacent to the residential dining venue.
Hickey Dining Hall was dated and uninviting. In addition to ambiance issues, the design of the servery did not allow the Dining Services staff to easily restock food stations which created congestion in the front of the house. The food stations themselves were mostly stainless steel and fairly unattractive. The dining room featured large, round tables that were not efficient or customer friendly. The primary focus of the renovation was to improve flow and throughput in the serving area and to create a comfortable and welcoming dining venue that would meet today’s students’ expectations. Due to budget constraints, most of the kitchen space including the bakery, a portion of the dishroom and part of the servery support space remained intact.
The improved residential dining venue is a state-of-the-art jewel. The servery now includes a wide variety of individual offerings including a pizza station with a wood-burning brick oven, a Mongolian grill, a supersized salad bar, plus deli, hot entrée, specialty foods (display cooking) and dessert stations. The dining room features all new furniture including large and small tables and booths, new floor and wall coverings and new lighting. As a result of Porter’s equipment survey, we identified several pieces of existing equipment that could be reused in the redesign. Our firm also designed the adjacent cyber café that offers made-to-order hot beverages along with baked goods, gourmet sandwiches, bottled beverages and more. This venue shares production kitchen and support space with the residential dining facility.