A college campus is full of action. With hustling students rushing from classes to part-time jobs to the dorms to basketball games, it can be difficult for them to stop and enjoy a meal. However, they do still need to eat.
Aside from students eating on campus, you also have faculty seeking out something tasty before their next class begins or when their break ends. Attracting them to your foodservice operation and keeping their attention can rely on a few simple factors, and it can also mean successfully bringing in a profit. As a director, you want to find a balance between success and consumer happiness.
Check out our five favorite tips for improving foodservice at colleges and universities to learn more.
1) Embrace Change Through Your Menu
It's a fad to always try something new. New experiences. New friends. New tastes! Change out your menu options from time to time. Provide seasonal and time-limited treats, bring in ethnic cuisines to diversify, and make sure you offer options for all dietary restrictions. Having an all-inclusive menu will make everyone feel like their needs and desires are important. You can change up your menu and transition to new dishes seasonally, quarterly, or in any way that fits your schedule.
2) Healthy, Whole, and Local
Everyone today wants to know what they're consuming. They want to understand if the things they're eating are healthy, how they impact their lifestyle, and if they're helping the environment. Offer transparency and showcase what goes into making the meals they're buying. Shop local and discuss the products you're selling to provide a feeling of honest communication and build consumer relationships.
3) On-the-Go and In the Dorm
Treats like coffee and juice are great, but they only go so far in curbing the crave and need for actual food. Sometimes there won't be time to make a stop at the food court or sit down and enjoy a meal in the dining hall. During those busy moments, make sure there are opportunities for students to still get meals. Whether it's via a kiosk or a grab-n-go location, it can make a difference in whether potential consumers grab their food on campus or make a pit stop at the closest drive-thru to grab their next meal.
4) Everybody Loves the Marketplace
Truth is, an on-campus shop offering easy to cook meals is more convenient than going to the grocery store down the road, especially for students without transportation. Offer a mixture of already-prepared foods and prepare-at-home meals to be all-inclusive. The accessibility will make it simple for those who need a last-minute option to grab their food. Not only will it save them travel time, but it'll keep them on campus enjoying your foodservice operation.
5) Labor Perks
Many students seek out extra ways to pay tuition or earn a little more spending money. If they can stay on campus it benefits them as much as it benefits you. While good labor is becoming more difficult to come by, you can appeal to the hardworking with simple perks. Offering up discounted or free shift meals will entice employees to work hard. You can also provide scholarships to motivate them and make them feel as if they're achieving success by working for you. Plus, having a technology-savvy employee is great when it comes to adjusting to the need for deliveries and online menu services.
Now, how are you going to implement these ideas? High Sabatino can help.
Over the years, we've helped many colleges and universities experience both small and large wins in their foodservice programs. Schedule some time with us today, and let us walk you through some concepts and solutions that can help you implement the five factors listed above.