Minneapolis College of Art & Design (MCAD)

Industry: Higher Education

Service: RFP

MCAD reached out to JGL after its longtime food service Operator provided the College with notice of his retirement. This Operator’s upcoming retirement coincided with several other big changes at the College, namely the doubling of its residential student population over the next several years. The College wanted to ensure that its next Operator would be able to elevate the foodservice program to meet increased student needs but remain a nimble and cost-efficient operation that was part of the MCAD community. Despite the outgoing Operator’s sound management of the program, JGL identified several areas of opportunity to include in the RFP.

  1. The creation of take-home meal-kits (all residential dorms at MCAD have individual kitchens)
  2. The expansion of the existing café kitchen to include a walk-in refrigerator/freezer
  3. The regular marketing of catering services to the nearby Minneapolis Institute of Art to help drive incremental catering sales

Despite the small student body, JGL was able to garner considerable interest from local, regional, and national food service providers. Part of this process’ success was due in large part to its flexibility; bidders were given the opportunity to submit proposals based on their chosen rather than a mandated financial structure. Following the proposal review & interview processes, MCAD ultimately selected a fast-growing regional provider; MCAD, in turn is the company’s first outpost in Minneapolis.

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