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Account Summary

  Board Plan
  Catering
  Summer Conferences
  Other Sales
  A Stable Operation
  Annual Calendar
  Facilities

Westmont College is a four-year, residential Christian liberal arts college, with 1,200 students enrolled in a wide array of undegraduate majors. Approximately 1,000 students live in the five residence halls on campus. (For more information about the College in general, go to our home page.)

Board Plan

The thousand boarding students (61% female) are split 87%/13% across our 21- and 15-meal plans. The meals they consume at our cafeteria-style Dining Commons (we call it "the DC") quite consistently reflect our standards for high quality. Visitors to our campus from other schools often remark on how much better the food is here than where they come from. Our students have given high marks to the food staff for friendliness, cleanliness and helpfulness. They also value the "continuous dining" model which enables them to find or create a healthy meal from 7am to 7pm daily. Another somewhat distinctive feature of the board plan is our generosity with "pack-outs" (planned meal absences), which allow individual and grouped students access to meals they can arrange in advance to pick up at the DC but eat elsewhere. Consequently, the missed-meal factor may be lower here than at some other schools. Several days each academic year are defined in advance as "headcount days," when we know that our student census will be very low; on these days we pay an agreed amount for each meal consumed. The total cost of our board plan is over $1,500,000 annually. / TOP / SEARCH / HOME

Catering

Catering is another setting in which "a cut above" well-represents our expectations. Events range from a gala Christmas party hosted twice for hundreds (once for our friends and neighors, and once for our faculty and staff), to intimate high-end luncheons for four in the President's office, to banquets serving 10 to 200 alumni or sports fans, to cookie and punch receptions of all sizes. A love for food, an eye for presentation, and attention to detail will need to be hallmarks of the individual assigned to oversee this aspect of our needs. Logistics can be challenging, as only the DC currently has food holding and preparation facilities; occasional events are catered off-site. We look forward to having our provider automate the scheduling, pricing, and invoicing of catering orders. Approximately 450 events are billed out in a typical year, producing over $180,000 in revenue. Peak loads can encompass over 50 events in a single week. (Last year: 29 breakfasts; 107 lunches; 41 dinners; 210 refreshments; 25 summer events [all types]; 39 other invoices [including linens only]) / TOP / SEARCH / HOME

Summer Conferences

The summer crew is kept occupied preparing meals for some 8,000 guests who participate in a host of conference programs each year. Customer expectations are usually exceeded, as witnessed by the kudos and good ratings given by the very diverse clientele of families, professional groups, athletes, day-campers and others who enjoy these weekend or week-long activities. Respect for cultural sensitivities governs the menu selection and food preparation for certain groups (eg, a preferred rice and cooking method for a Japanese church camp). The conference program generates over a quarter-million food service revenue dollars. / TOP / SEARCH / HOME

Other Sales

A short-order grill called The Study is open daily for lunch, and again in the mid-to-late evening for student interaction, homework, and refreshment. The Study grosses about $30,000 annually. Guest meals (at contracted rates), the "Munch Money" plan (110% value placed on the community's ID cards), and other miscellaneous sources crest the revenue over the $2 million mark. Note that vending is not included in this bid; the College has four years to go in a heretofore successful relationship with 7Up/RC, which includes most of the mixed and bottled beverages offered at the DC and Study. / TOP / SEARCH / HOME

The Pros & Cons of Stability

Prospects for future growth are frankly limited. We do not expect or intend to ever expand our on-campus enrollment. We are situated in an isolated and quite upscale neighborhood, so there is little non-Westmont traffic to generate sales. However, the incumbent's financial reports indicate that a provider can happily sustain quality performance without facing the vagaries of constant change. An important component of the stability here has been the dedicated workforce. Many of the Sodexho staff have sustained their productivity on campus for 10 or 20 years or more, and they have become well-known and much-appreciated members of the Westmont community. A key factor for us will be the confidence we gain about how these people would be treated in a successor contract. / TOP / SEARCH / HOME

Annual Calendar

Our academic year typically starts with providing special meals for hundreds of new students and their parents at Orientation in late August. Homecoming occurs in late September and involves high-intensity catering demands. Preview Days and Trustees' meetings occur later in the fall, followed by the Christmas parties. The food service board operation shuts down for about threee weeks at Christmas and reopens just before classes resume in early January. Other Trustees' meetings, Parents' Weekend, Alumni College and other events are held second semester, then the DC is closed one week for Spring Break. A flurry of activity in catering closes the academic cycle, as various symposia lead up to a near-frantic culmination at Commencement in early May. Our Mayterm academic program starts two days later and runs five weeks, with about 100 students on campus. Finally, after the summer conference program ends, and while there are only student athletes in residence, the DC runs a skeleton crew for a week in mid-August. The Study typically is available year-round for lunch, with few exceptions. Just over 300,000 meals are served in a year's time. / TOP / SEARCH / HOME

Facilities

The Dining Commons (DC) was built in the early 60's and remodeled in the mid 80's. Three dining rooms, seating 28, 53 and 107 diners, adjoin the 372-seat main hall. Plans are in the works to enclose an existing patio, bringing some 87 seats indoors -- hopefully within a couple of years. The Study's grill and 70-seat dining area are contiguous with the main food preparation area. The 8,826-square-foot interior workspace for the contractor comprises kitchen, service area, dishroom, restrooms, storage and offices. The food service equipment is owned by the college, as is the smallwares inventory, including catering goods. / TOP / SEARCH / HOME


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