Grambling State University

Grambling State University (GSU) hired PKC in January 2019 to complete a comprehensive assessment of the University’s dining program and facilities. GSU was struggling with extremely low participation rate in McCall Dining Hall indicating dissatisfaction with variety and quality of offerings. PKC conducted a site visit, toured the facilities and spoke with GSU staff, faculty, administration and students to establish the current perceptions of the dining program and understand the primary issues and concerns being experienced by the campus community.

Following this visit, PKC developed an online survey to test and validate some of the issues presented during qualiative market research and to test potential solutions that could enhance dining offerings moving forward. The survey was set up to be able to analyze information by demographic so that PKC could better understand and resolve the issues by demographic group (e.g. students, faculty, staff, etc.). With our qualitative and quantitative market research complete, PKC returned to campus to present our findings and recommendations to the GSU planning team. The recommendations included upgrades to branded concepts for retail dining and 24/7 Anytime Dining in McCall Dining Hall with expanded variety and offerings.

All of the recommendations, including enhanced meal plans, were incorporated into the Request for Proposal document which was issued in February 2019. The process yielded several qualified proposals that embraced the recommendations approved by the University and even included some enhancements beyond what was originally envisioned including facility upgrades and additional branding opportunities. PKC also completed an in-depth evaluation of the bids, assisted with finalist interviews and facilitated contract negotiations. Ultimately a contract was executed that detailed the programmatic commitments of the new operator while ensuring the greatly improved financial promises are guaranteed.