Since the addition of Panda Express and Chick-fil-A, Dining Services experienced its most profitable year-to-date after several structural changes were made to the program, including the removal of the Valley View Cafeteria.
It increased total dining revenue to $1.2 million in 2018, which was up from $186,000 during the 2017-18 year. These are the first times that Dining Services has been profitable since 2011 when it made $30,000 in gross revenue.
Jacob Atkin, associate vice president of finance/GRAMA, said that he expects the revenue to increase this year by about $500,000 to $700,000. This figure is a conservative estimate as he believes it will be much higher by the end of the year.
“We’ve basically turned Dining Services around because now it is profitable and bringing in a strong revenue,” Atkin said.
Valley View Cafeteria, a UVU owned and operated eatery, used to occupy the space where Panda Express and Chick-fil-A currently reside. This cafeteria served food prepared by highly trained chefs and provided options such as a salad bar, chicken tenders, and gourmet specials.
The cafeteria was shut down in 2017 because it was highly unprofitable and losing over $10,000 a month. Since the addition of the new food options, Dining Services has seen a 25 percent increase in revenue.
According to Atkin, the changes were made to increase profitability and to provide options that aligned with consumer demand.
“As we’ve found locations that have been more popular with our students, faculty and staff, our revenue has gone up,” Atkin said.
According to Ibrahim Tashman, the director of Dining Services, factors such as better customer service and the preparation of food on campus has contributed to the increase.
“We try to provide the best customer service we can for the people,” Tashman said.
Dining Services will continue to expand its options over the next few years. Atkin and Tashman said that UVU is looking into bringing back a salad bar option and that there will be a coffee shop added to the bookstore during a scheduled remodel in 2020.
Editor in Chief and life-long student