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Cutting Dining Service Costs

University Business, March 2013

Every dining services operator aims to maximize cost efficiency, and that means saving money as well as producing revenue.

At UMass, Dartmouth, combining full-service and self-service dining under the management of Chartwells, has helped to reduce labor costs and improve efficiency, according to auxiliary services director Jeff Augustine.

“We are getting a lot more hours out of our labor and services for our students than we did with our previous vendor,” Augustine says.

Chartwells regional director Tom Piascik adds that installing an automated dish return improved self-bussing, thus lowering labor costs. And district manager Ed Gilmore says attention to portion control and sourcing have made a big difference.

“We’ve done a spectacular job of saving money by buying local in the summer and fall,” Gilmore says. “This past year, we spent over $100,000 within 10 miles of the university.” Universities hosting popular restaurant franchises can benefit from the buying power of a national brand.

“We have an independent purchasing co-op that negotiates the prices of food and equipment for the entire chain,” says Subway category manager Janet Bencivenga. “So we have the power to keep costs down for all of our franchisees.”

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