University of Central Florida

Orlando, FL

Student Union Foodservice Operations Assessment

In 2013 the University of Central Florida selected B&D to complete a student union foodservice operations assessment.  The school’s Student Union was an important campus meeting place that supported a vibrant student life and served as a hub where thousands of retail patrons passed each day.  To ensure it was not missing key opportunities to entice those students to linger within the facility, the university asked us to assess, understand, and address its foodservice operations and to provide implementable recommendations based on campus community feedback, our industry expertise, and the university’s long-term planning strategies.  We evaluated both the independent and privately run foodservice concepts in the Union.  In addition to reviewing the current financial performance for each vendor, we toured each space, interviewed the operators, observed operations, studied traffic flow and patterns, and conducted focus groups with students to learn their perspectives on Union dining.  Additionally, all lease agreements were studied and a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis was performed on each food operator.  We presented the university with an outline of the pros and cons of local and national foodservice brands and recommended physical renovations to address traffic flow and sightline issues for a more efficient and practical layout, including signage improvements to eliminate patron confusion. To eliminate financial and performance disparities, it was recommended that new contractual agreements be executed containing terms more uniform and specific on issues such as operating hours, performance bonds, cash audits, insurance requirements, rents, staffing, and sanitation/utility matters.  We returned to campus in 2015 to review the university’s retail foodservice contracts.