The National Association of College & University Food Services (NACUFS) has released its “Campus Dining: 2030 and Beyond” report, which reveals the values of a new generation of students and non-student staff and management.
NACUFS provides its member schools with programs and resources to help improve food services on their campuses. Its 134-page report is based on quantitative and qualitative research and analysis by expert researchers and leaders in the field, according to NACUFS officials. The examination contains insights from survey data, interviews, focus groups, and an innovative think tank, which apply to both front-of-house and back-of-house operations. It emphasizes the growing importance of flexibility, storytelling, and technology as the industry evolves.
“Coming into 2024, our institutions are already planning for 2030 and beyond. While we don’t pretend to have a crystal ball, NACUFS has brought to bear our best possible calculations, data, and expertise — along with the vital insights of our highly knowledgeable membership — to explore known and unknown potentialities and to lay a foundation for what is possible,” stated NACUFS President and CEO Robert Nelson.
NACUFS detailed its engagement with academic researchers at Florida International University’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management to undertake a 360-degree review of collegiate foodservice to 1.) identify opportunities and challenges expected to confront the industry in 2030 and beyond and 2.) provide a foundation for strategic decision-making among institutional foodservice organizations.
“Each campus dining leader has a unique duty to our students, who are themselves building the future as we’ll know it — and as our children’s children will know it,” noted NACUFS Chairman Kory Samuels. “This is a huge responsibility and one we must embrace at this time of change and uncertainty. Across the higher ed landscape, campus dining leaders are helping to shape the future every day. By serving so much more than food, we are empowering the next generation. This research will help us create the best possible future for campus dining and for the students we impact.”