By Richard Zagrzecki
The story of how the University of Houston’s dining program transformed into one that is socially rich and able to influence student success was told at the National Association of College and University Food Services’ Southern Regional Conference.
The conference, which was held March 6-8 in Denton, was attended by college and university food service representatives from Texas and 12 other southern U.S. states. It provided a platform by which participants could share experiences and best practices and learn what their peers are doing at other institutions.
UH Auxiliary Services Executive Director Neil Hart, Program Director Rosie Ashley, and Porter Khouw Consulting CEO David Porter were invited to give a presentation about the changes implemented to UH’s dining program over the past year.
The presentation explained how UH was experiencing dissatisfaction with its campus dining program and that meal plan sales were dropping and students were calling for changes.
They explained that through a detailed planning process – including rebidding the food service provider contract – the University implemented a five-year business plan with innovative programming enhancements, including 24/7 anytime dining that has resulted in increased participation, higher value-proposition, and greater student engagement.