A major university in Canada recently announced that they’ve decided to end their contract with a food service provider at their biggest location, and instead operate independently. The school indicates that this was a decision called upon by its student body resulting from their increasing frustration with their current services. Some of the key challenges they cite include:
- “They are increasingly dissatisfied — as they should be — with really highly processed foods and a campus food service that is sort of an irritating afterthought.”
- “They’re much more astute consumers and they have more refined needs”
- “Twenty-five years ago, students lived in basic dormitories…Today they have granite countertops, and they have flat-screen TVs and Wi-Fi and Netflix,” he said. “You have to keep up.”
- It’s important for food service providers to be open to working with their clients to figure out how to better serve their needs.
The lesson for food service providers? Request feedback from students on a regular basis and act on their feedback in a timely manner. Many campuses are beginning to implement food apps which include features such as mobile payments, mobile ordering and a direct student feedback tool (check out Lucova Campus) – solutions which are meant to keep up with the type of services millennials are accustomed to in other parts of their lives.