The State University of New York Plattsburgh (SUNY Plattsburgh) hired our firm to assist the University with rebidding its foodservice contract. This contract had not been rebid in 30 years. In addition to identifying ways that the University could better meet the dining needs of the campus community, SUNY Plattsburgh was also interested in increasing the commissions it received from its foodservice provider and in securing a capital investment from the foodservice management company selected to provide service on campus. At the start of this project, the University was in the process of renovating the main retail dining venue on campus and campus administrators wanted to finalize the rebidding process before this renovation was complete.
To kick off this project, our team spent three days on campus conducting focus groups and personal interviews with a wide variety of constituents including students, faculty/staff and administrators. This qualitative market research was used to create a customized web-based survey which was distributed campus wide. More than 600 campus community members responded. We then analyzed the market research and developed preliminary recommendations for the University including meal plan options, hours of operation for all of the campus dining venues, suggestions regarding menu variety and selection and other programming details. Our recommendations were embraced by the University 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 thoroughly review the proposals and to rate them in terms of how well each company met the requirements of the RFP. From that, our team created a ranking to illustrate the companies with the most thorough proposals. We also assisted the University with in-depth interviews with the finalist companies. Once the selection had been narrowed down to one company, our team assisted the University with the contract negotiations and with the development of a management agreement.
As a result of our work at SUNY Plattsburgh, the University secured a five-year contract with two optional one-year extensions with a guaranteed commission.