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Campus Food Is Hot

Campus foodservice sales are jumping. Total sales at 100 colleges and universities that self-operate food service increased 8.9% over the past year and food purchases rose 8.5%, according to Foodservice Director's 2000 Performance Report. Last year students spent an average of $747.35 on meals up 8.2% over the prior year. Total food purchases for the group rose nearly 13% to $421 million up from $372.8 million in 1998-99.
Foodservice in contract-managed campus indicates that average sales-per-student have risen from $594.51 to $667.41 in the past year.
Total meals serviced for the 150 colleges audited in this year's study hit 247 million and 56% of them are credited to board plans nationwide.
The big push in the past year indicates switches from traditional dining to all-cash, retail-based systems, as college foodservices adapt to changing ethnic and lifestyle needs on campus. For example, coffee shops and global cuisines are very popular in retail food service. They are also very popular on campus.
The survey also revealed that labor expenses continue to climb even faster than foodservice sales. Last year, labor costs rose 9.4% and currently account for 37% of sales.