College Services - Fall 2014 - (Page 22)
University dining as a
"third place" experience,
the next big thing
Creating the sense of community that adds to
the university value proposition
TR É AL
M OANA S 2 0 1 4
this e # 610
BY SUSAN WILKIE AND MARION EDWARDS
niversity dining services everywhere
are facing a challenge. students are
reassessing the value proposition of
their institutions. To create an environment that
fosters and promotes that value proposition
requires campus venues that deliver on the
feeling of community. For one university in
California, a plan has been put together that
translates the best and most relevant macro
and micro restaurant trends, captures the
student and university customer voice, applies
technical research, and designs a unique
community-based dining solution to create a
true "third place" environment for a modern
dining services experience.
urban sociologist Ray oldenburg coined
the term third place to distinguish a location
where people gather outside the familiar places
of home, school, and work. our first place is
home. second place is work (or for the student,
higher education campuses). Third place is that
anchor of community life that facilitates and
fosters broader, more creative interaction. The
fresh thinking about this is the intentionality
of seeking out a third place as vital to current
CO LLEGE SERVI CE S | F aLL 2014
CREATE a neighborhood vibe.
BUILD community culture.
PROMOTE healthy lifestyles with
INSPIRING food experiences.
DELIVER financial results.
So how do you create that sense of third
place community that adds to the university
Like all universities, Cal Poly san Luis
obispo, located about halfway between
Los angeles and san Francisco, California,
faces these challenges. The town of san
Luis obispo encompasses 13 square miles
of farm land, vineyards, rolling hills, and sandy
beaches as well as a small town charm that
delights the population and tourists. art,
wine tasting, cultural activities, farmers markets, and quaint shops frame the essence of
this place. Restaurants are independently
owned and operated with little penetration
of outside brands. Cal Poly san Luis obispo,
Laurus College, the university of La Verne,
and Cuesta College are all located here. This
is a college town.
The story begins with strategic planning
work, grounded in the nuts and bolts of the
* Guiding principles are established to influence
the decision making.
* On-campus research includes interviews, focus
groups, and campus surveys to understand
the buying behaviors and satisfaction for the
food service locations and the meal plans.
* Peer campus benchmarking is used to determine how the dining services are positioned
compared to competitors.
* A demand and capacity study is used to identify the current situation and future demand
for facilities in terms of points of service, location, velocity, and concept.
* Operations, financial, and facility assessments
are conducted to understand the boundaries
and factors in development.
once these issues are understood, we
apply the design filters of a true third place
* Neutral Ground "I am here because I want to
be, not because I have to be here."
* Leveler "I am just as important as the senior
next to me."
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of College Services - Fall 2014
Opening Remarks: Presidential Perspective
The conference for higher education ancillary services
Explore the Business Solutions Center in Montréal
Welcome to Montréal
University dining as a “third place” experience, the next big thing
Students not ready to part with print
Farm to campus
Is it time for a wellness check of your auxiliaries?
Creating a customer-centric culture
Leaving a footprint
Sustainable campus food: For people, planet, and profit
Congratulations Kevin D’Onofrio, United States Military Academy West Point
Professional Development Calendar
In Closing: Executive Summary
College Services - Fall 2014