The Pulse Group was retained by Santa Clara University in March 2015, to evaluate the possibilities for expanding campus dining operations and to assess the feasibility of developing a multi-use conference center, with retail and dining elements. During the course of our work, we collaborated with the University’s Institutional Research group to examine current and future campus demographic trends, reviewed historical operational data with respect to dining/catering sales/transactions, created a detailed event/catering database by department, analyzed various potential development sites, conducted best practices research with respect to the development characteristics/operations of other university related conference/event centers both regionally and nationally and interviewed more than 25 key University stakeholders with respect to event/meeting related activity. With the focus on the potential dining opportunities, we conducted (5) discussion groups with a broad range of University segments, including underclassmen, upperclassmen, off campus students, graduate students and faculty/staff. In addition, we designed and implemented and internet survey that that mapped current dining behavior, tested satisfaction with existing choices and evaluated the potential for new dining concepts. Using the scope of work described, we provided the University with strategic recommendations for the size and composition of new dining operations, as well as various alternatives for the development of conference/event center, which included a detailed development program with space types, sizing and adjacencies.
Conference Center Feasibility Study and Strategic Plan for Dining Operations