Food & Drink International - Spring 2017 Volume 1 - 68
Michigan State University Culinary Services
>> MSU Culinary Services' retail food services include 21 Sparty's locations - an on-campus convenience store concept - as well
as two campus food courts, beverage vending services, a food truck and two Starbucks Coffee franchises.
franchise and a location for Woody's
Oasis, a local Mediterranean-style eatery; beverage and vending services and
a food truck. The department also operates two Starbucks Coffee franchises as
well as the concessions for on-campus
The department's residential dining
includes nine dining halls located in undergraduate student residence halls as
well as Riverwalk Market, a grill/convenience store located in Owen Hall,
which houses graduate students. MSU's
residential dining halls serve 38,000
people a day, while 20,000 people are
served by its retail offerings.
Johnsonville, based in Sheboygan Falls, Wis., is the
leading bratwurst brand in the United States after
getting its start 71 years ago as a small butcher shop in
the town that bears the company's name. Founded in
1945 by the late Ralph F. and Alice Stayer, the company
remains privately owned today by the next-generation
Stayer family, with approximately 1,600 members. The
family-owned company distributes its product at retail
in more than 40 countries and through its Foodservice
business, provides a variety of sausage items in 125
professional, college and semi-pro sports stadiums
throughout the U.S. Johnsonville's Foodservice business
thrives on providing culinary sausage solutions to help
its customers create exciting, on-trend menu options.
MSU Culinary Services also includes
a support services division. Support
services operates Spartan Linen Services, which cleans and handles the
linens used by the department as well
as the uniforms worn by campus hotel,
catering and physical plant employees
as well as medical school students. The
support team also includes the MSU
Bakery that makes items fresh six days
a week, as well as a purchasing and
warehouse staff that handles $36 million in annual food purchases.
One of Procopio's first actions as head
of the department was to give students
greater access to dining options by integrating its retail and dining functions.
MSU's Combo-X-Change program, introduced in 2009, allows students with a
dining plan to get three items - a beverage, snack and entrée - once a day from
Sparty's and other retail locations Monday through Friday in place of a dining
hall meal. The program offers a conve-
food & drink international * spring 2017 volume 1 * www.fooddrink-magazine.com
nient meal option for students who are
too busy between classes to go to one of
the dining halls, Procopio notes.
There are 21 total Sparty's locations
on the MSU Campus. Locations are divided into three concepts, such as Sparty's Café, which includes seating, a grill
offering made-to-order food as well as
an array of hot and cold beverages and
convenience items. Sparty's Express,
which offers coffee, snacks and other
convenience items, and Sparty's Refresh, offering coffee, specialty drinks
and convenience items are the other
two concepts. The split into three concepts was the result of a marketing and
rebranding effort completed in 2011.
The department continues to add
new offerings to the Sparty's brand.
Several of these offerings come from a
central commissary added to the campus two years ago. The commissary
prepares and packages salads as well
as prepared items that can be reheated
by students or faculty members. In addition to these items, vendor Sushi With
Gusto prepares fresh sushi in the commissary each morning that is delivered
to retail locations, Procopio adds.
Since combining the retail and dining
functions, the department has increased
its retail sales from $4,500 annually to
$14 million. The added size and scale
of MSU Culinary Services' operations
also greatly enhances its purchasing
power, as it purchases roughly 60 percent of its goods directly from manufacturers. The department also has supply
agreements with major distributors including Sysco, US Foods and Gordon
MSU Culinary Services' retail rebranding was followed quickly by an overhaul of its residential dining program.
The department's dining master plan,
initiated in 2010, included closing two