The Pulse Group worked with the Cornell University School of Management in winter 2015 to develop a renovation plan for the School’s dining, catering and retail operations located on the first floor of Sage Hall. As part of our work, we interviewed representatives from all of the School’s major program groups, including Alumni Affairs, Development, Admissions and Executive Education, as well as from various Institute groups, to determine satisfaction with existing operations and assess future dining/catering needs. In addition, our scope of services included an examination of demographic trends, an analysis of historical dining/catering sales/transactions, creation of a detailed event/catering database by department and best practices research with respect to the development characteristics/operations of other university business school dining/catering programs. To assess the potential for new dining concepts, we conducted (7) discussion groups, with 1st year students, 2nd year students ad faculty/staff. Based on the results of the discussion groups, we developed and implemented an internet survey, which was used to create Personas of the various customer segments, analyze campus dining habits/patterns, assess the potential of various dining concepts and test a range of design concepts. Using a combination of the qualitative and quantitative research completed, we created several alternative renovation design concepts for a new dining marketplace and a coffee bar, including collaboration and event space. For the consensus alternative, we provided a schedule a major equipment, an estimated project budget by major lump sum category and a proposed furnishings plan. We also provided recommendations with respect to potential new dining concepts, menuing possibilities aimed at producing stronger utilization and ideas for a series of operating innovations/efficiencies targeted at generating higher satisfaction levels.
Strategic Renovation Plan for Dining/Catering Operations