how to create meaningful gathering places & grow

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HOW TO CREATE MEANINGFUL GATHERING
PLACES & GROW VOLUNTARY MEAL PLAN
SALES BY TRANSFORMING YOUR CAMPUS
DINING PROGRAM
Your Hosts
Arlene Hosea
Assistant to the Vice President &
Director of Campus Dining
Illinois State University
David Porter
Author, President & CEO
Porter Khouw Consulting, Inc.
What Is Social Architecture ?
TM
Emotional
Connections
Gravitational Pull
Toward dining venues
Students & school
Design Meaningful
Social
Connections
Last a Lifetime
Social Energy
Universal Appeal
Sense of
Community
Heartbeat/Living Room/Kitchen
Compelling Benefits of Social ArchitectureTM
Higher
Recruitment
Capture Rates
Higher %
Alumni
Involvement
Higher
Retention Rates
Higher GPAs
Higher Quality
Housing
Higher
Graduation
Rates
College & University…..
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Recruitment
Yield Rates
Retention
Graduation Rates
Make Campus More Sticky
Alumni
Housing
Student Unions
Recreation Centers
Classroom Outside of the Classroom…..
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Socially Engage
Study Plan
Wholesome Social
Flipping The Classroom
Live & Dine On-Campus
Face-to-Face Social
Electronic Social Media
Get A Good Job
High Cost of Low Education
Social ArchitectureTM


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Our Hunger for Love and Affirmation is Greater
than our Hunger for Bread… Mother Teresa
#3 Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs To Socially
Connect
Did Facebook Create our Need to Connect to
Others?
If we keep fighting for our limitations,
we will most likely get to keep them……
College & University Program Trends…..

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Lifestyle/Living
Student Clock
Portability
Healthy Menu/Food
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Gluten Free
Food Allergy
Vegetarian
Vegan
Paleo
Performance Dining
College & University Program Trends…..
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Sustainability
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Facility – State of the Art…..
Branding

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Farm to Fork
Locally Grown
Organic
National, Regional, Self-Branding
Meal Plans
Catering
Financial Due Diligence
How To Determine the Optimum
Dining Program
Ask Yourself These Questions


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What is the optimum dining program
for our unique campus?
How do we organize dining in order
to optimize social engagement?
Do we need to enhance facilities?
What will it cost?
Seek Independent Insights

With so much at stake, it's critical to use independent & objective
experts to facilitate a proven process to design the optimum
dining program.
Determine Who You Are
 What makes your campus unique?
 Demographics
 Geography
 Culture
 Traditions
 Preferences
 Growth plans/enrollment
 Political environment
 Financial realities
GOAL: To expand & enhance the student dining experience.
Determine Who You Are

Ask these questions:
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What is your retention rate?
What is your missed meal factor?
Is meal plan participation up or down?
Are the meal plans a good value or not?
Can students use their meal plans when they
want to?
Is there a lack of social connectivity on
campus?
Does the program attract or subtract from
student life on campus?
Market Research
Market Research
Market Research

Interview students & stakeholders.


Directors of admissions, housing, res life and advancement
(retention & recruitment)

Residential & commuter students

Faculty & staff

Catering customers & conference planners

Campus administrators
Determine customers’ perceptions regarding:

Hours of operation Monday-Friday & Saturday and Sunday

Menu variety

Meal plans

Methods of service

Locations

Ambiance

Speed of service

Customer service
Market Research


Survey the campus community including students, faculty & staff.

Where are customers eating off campus/calling for delivery?

What time of day/night?

How do they pay for purchases?

What they do now is a better indication of what they will do.
Use market research determine where the program is lacking & where opportunities lie.
Market Research

Evaluate your facilities.
 Do they meet today’s standards or are they in a time warp?


Are they competitive with your cross applicant schools?
How much deferred maintenance exists?
Optimum Dining Program


Develop the optimum dining program for YOUR campus.
Elements should include:
 Concepts
 Brands
 Hours (Monday-Friday & weekends)
 Menu variety
 Meal plans
 Methods of service
 Methods of payment
 Locations
 Ambiance
 Speed of service
 Customer service
Optimum Dining Program

Financial consequences

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How will meal plan participation change?
How much more labor will you need or how
can the current labor be better utilized? Can
you reduce labor?
If you open new locations, how many
operating days will they be open and what
will the average check be?
How will your operating expenses change?
How much can you anticipate growing your
bottom line in a five-year period?
Optimum Dining Program

Identify necessary facility changes.
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Facilities should be designed to functionally
support the optimum dining program.
Do the current spaces need to be enlarged
or redesigned to ensure easy customer
throughput & the ability to provide topnotch service?
How many customers does each facility
need to support at the peak meal period?
Will this change in the future?
How much will it cost to make changes?
Before
After
Value Proposition
Access Driven: Anytime Dining

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Promotes less food
waste/consumption
Provides ultimate in flexibility
Appeals to parents/easy
transition from home
No leftover meals
Higher gross profitability
Lower food cost (21-28%)
Voluntary meal plan
participation increases
Consumption Driven: Meals Per
Week/Semester
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Promotes food waste
Unnecessary spending
Less gross profitability
Meals must generally be
consumed during certain time
periods
Leftover meals/dining dollars
causes dissatisfaction
Does not appeal to parents
Areas to Consider When Thinking Ahead
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How & in what venues will customers be able to use
meal plan money?
How do current staffing schedules need to be
modified to meet customer demand & extended hours
of operation?
What menu offerings are going to be available in
each venue? What kind of equipment layout/utilities
will be needed?
What changes to the campus landscape (new
building, new arteries through campus) could impact
the success of the dining program?
Are our current facilities undersized & how large do
they need to be to accommodate any changes in
enrollment?
What impact will these proposed changes have on
your department’s bottom line?
Creating a campus-wide dining services master plan will
help answer these questions!
A New Vision for Dining at Illinois State
University
Illinois State Campus Dining At A Glance

Public four-year university

Enrollment: 21,000

Self-operated dining department

Department includes:

2 residential dining commons

Watterson Dining Commons: Renovated in 2010

Marketplace at Linkins Center

Multiple retail locations around campus & in the Bone Student
Center

Catering

Central bakery

Total annual revenue: $31 million

#of meal plan holders: 7,585

# of residential students: 6,400
Before
After
Case Study – Illinois State

PKC was retained by ISU in 2004 to develop long-term campus wide strategic
master plan for CDS.

Recommendations included customer-friendly, value-added anytime dining meal plans,
extended hours of operation and other significant program enhancements.

Planning project resulted in a design initiative to renovate Linkins Dining Center.

The study also included a review of the feasibility of central production.

PKC prepared extensive financial models, staffing matrices and developed a
payback analysis (ROI) for proposed foodservice venues and reviewed current
business systems.
The Results

When ISU introduced the new changes to the dining
program (after pushback from students & marketing
efforts by CDS to explain the benefits of the new
program), the then student-body president said:
“The meal plan options now fit every student’s lifestyle and needs, whether they are on
campus, off campus or commute. It’s great to be able to find a meal plan that fits
me. With the addition of off-campus meal plans, it allows those students to once
again enjoy a great dining experience with convenience of being right on campus.”
The Results

Since CDS implemented PKC’s recommendations,
they have increased the number of off-campus
meal plan sales (from fewer than 200 in 2005 to
more than 1,200 in 2010 and more than 3,000 in
2013*).
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At new off-campus apartment complex, 2/3rds of
student residents purchased meal plans in 2013.
Customer satisfaction is high.
Increased participation among faculty and staff
who now eat in the residential dining venues again.
The social architecture on campus has been
strengthened by creating meaningful
dining/learning commons on campus to provide
safe and inviting places for students to gather.
ISU Customer-based Meal Plans

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Unlimited Access Meal Plans:

7-Day Unlimited (unlimited access to any residential dining center, seven days
a week) plus $265 Flex Dollars/semester. Cost: $2,236

5-Day Unlimited (unlimited access to any residential center, Monday-Friday
only) plus $340 Flex Dollars/semester. Cost: $2,067
Traditional Access Meal Plans:

19-Meal Traditional (access to any 19 meals per week – unused meals
expire each Sunday) plus $436 Flex Dollars/semester. Cost: $2,344

14 Meal Traditional (access to any 15 meals per week – unused meals
expire on Sunday) plus $485 Flex Dollars/semester. Cost: $2,158
Block 225 Meal Plan: 225 Block Meals (access to any 225 meals
throughout the entire semester) plus $339 Flex Dollars/semester.
Cost: $2,051
Methods of Payment

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Meal plan money/unlimited
access
Flex Dollars
Cash
Credit/debit cards
Anytime Dining in Residential Dining Centers


Unlimited access featuring unlimited seconds &
made-to-order food seven days a week at
Watterson Dining Commons & The Marketplace at
Linkins Center.
Hours of operation:


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M-Th: 7 a.m. -10 p.m., Fri.: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sat.: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sun.: 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Expanded menu variety to improve customer
satisfaction.
These venues are now functioning as
dining/learning commons & provide meaningful,
safe and wholesome social gathering places for all
campus community.
The DNA of a Successful Anytime Dining Program
Anytime Dining Meal Plans
Continuous Hours of Operation
Extended Hours of Operation
Menu Variety & Selection
State-of-the-art
Facilities
Retail
Approach
Optimum
Value
ISU’s Thriving Campus Dining Program
Meal Plan Counts
Fall 2008
Traditional Residence Hall
5897
Fall 2009
6457
Fall 2010
6378
Fall 2011
6337
Cardinal Court
Off-Campus
Total Meal Plan Counts
Fall 2012*
Fall 2013
5146
4828
725
743
751
804
1200
1797
1997
2337
6648
7261
7578
8134
7868
7908
ISU’s Thriving Campus Dining Program
“The Future”

Other program enhancements:


Dining Services Advisory Council
Changes planned for Fall 2014:
Renovation of Student Center
 Addition to Watterson:

- Culinary Innovation Center
Available on Amazon.com
“David Porter is a leader in the transformation of
dining in higher education. He and his dynamic team
challenge their clients to think progressively and
creatively….I was one of those clients. The work he
has done in the area of meal plan design and
development has helped universities grow their meal
plans to rates that exceeded all expectations. We
judge our success by how satisfied our students are with
the dining program. At the end of the day, that is
what truly matters on a college campus.”
Arlene Hosea
Assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs and
Director of Campus Dining Services, Illinois State
University
THANK YOU!
Questions?
[email protected]
[email protected]
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