Mercyhurst College

In Fall 2008, Mercyhurst College hired PKC to assist the College with rebidding its foodservice contract. This contract had not been rebid in 12 years. Meal plan participation was low and students were complaining about menu variety, food quality, hours of operation and more.

Our team conducted focus groups and personal interviews with a wide variety of campus constituents from the College’s two campuses. This work was followed by a web-based survey to which more than 600 campus community members responded. From there, we developed preliminary recommendations including more flexible and value-added meal plan options, customer-friendly hours of operation, suggestions regarding menu variety and selection, possible enhancements to the campus catering program and other programming details. Our recommendations were embraced by the College and our team used these recommendations to draft an RFP that was sent to all interested foodservice management companies.

Once the bids were received, our team used a customized evaluation template to illustrate the companies with the most comprehensive and creative proposals. We also assisted the College with in-depth interviews with the finalist companies. Finally, our team assisted Mercyhurst with contract negotiations and the development of a management agreement. As a result of our work at Mercyhurst, the College secured a three-year contract with two optional one-year extensions with guaranteed commissions annually.

“Overall, our work with each of you was all that we hoped for,” says Gerry Tobin, Vice President of Student Life. “Your guidance from the beginning provided a great deal of security for us as we moved forward in this important and transformative process. You are clearly the expert in your field and we were glad to lean on your expertise. The early collection of opinions from the Mercyhurst community involved folks, especially students, early in the game lending greater credibility to the final product. We couldn’t be more pleased with the assistance and professionalism you offered.”