Pace University

Pleasantville, NY

Dining Services Contractor Selection Support and Strategic Plan

In 2011, Pace University selected B&D to assist in selecting a highly qualified management company to provide students, staff, faculty, and guests with a food service operation that met the highest standards in the industry.  The timeline for the selection process was aggressive in order to have the new provider in place by the fall semester. Pace, a private metropolitan university, enrolled approximately 13,500 students on campuses located in Manhattan, Westchester, and White Plains. Our efforts included the following specific tasks: development and distribution of a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to potential contractors; evaluation of the RFQ responses to develop a short list of qualified companies to whom the Request for Proposals (RFP) would be sent; development of the RFP which was written to speed up contract development and execution; coordination of regularly-scheduled conference calls and meetings with Pace to share updates, assess milestones, and address current and potential issues; assistance with contractor interviews and evaluation of each bidder’s proposal and presentation; development of a scoring matrix by which the advisory committee could score each bidder’s proposal and presentation; and guidance to senior leadership on the advantages and disadvantages of each bidder.

We were engaged again in 2012 to review the proposed dining services renovation plans developed by the university and its dining services contract manager for One Pace Plaza in order to identify potential service or demand issues; identify existing dining services capacity at the New York City campus dining venues, and develop preliminary long-term demand projections; examine peer institutions’ dining operations, focusing on best practices that might help the university improve its existing operations; and develop dining services contract management options for Pace to consider to respond more effectively to the program’s growing complexities.  We conducted intercept interviews with students; conducted stakeholder interviews with key University administrators; reviewed existing campus demographic data; reviewed current dining services facilities, usage patterns, and traffic counts; and researched dining programs at peer institutions.  As a result, we issued a series of recommendations to improve the university’s dining services organizational structure.