Campus ID News
Card, mobile credential, payment and security
FEATURED
PARTNERS

Is the town big enough for the two of them?

CampusIDNews Staff   ||   Sep 01, 2002  ||   , ,

Private meal plan provider targets 18 college towns

On-campus dining operations are seeing some new competitors in town. The beginning of this fall semester marked the introduction of the Campus Dining Network, a privately held company that has fostered 18 local meal plans across the country. The initial sites include Gainesville, Florida and Chapel Hill, North Carolina targeting University of Florida and UNC-Chapel Hill students respectively.

The Campus Dining Network (CDN) program is an outgrowth of its first affiliate, The Corner Meal Plan, which started in 1993 as an off-campus program in Charlottesville, Virginia, home of the University of Virginia. According to CDN the Corner Meal Plan has grown to include 2,500 students on the plan with 50 local restaurants participating.

Here’s how it works. CDN offers students a prepaid account with a 1-1 conversion of dollars into “dining dollars.” There is no fee associated with the account, and the students are encouraged to recruit others with a bounty of $10 for each account opened with at least $150.00. Refunds are available, and balances carry-over from semester to semester.

As for the merchant, CDN offers a Verifone card terminal at no cost, then processes transactions at a rate “similar to or slightly higher than typical Visa/Mastercard rates”, according to Ann Marie Gulian, Vice President of Operations at CDN. “Merchants have been very pleased with the program,” said Ms. Gulian. “As Campus Dining Network provides marketing and promotion services we have seen merchants revenues rise as much as 14% through the program.”

CDN recently launched the Carolina Meal Plan in Chapel Hill, N.C., home of UNC-Chapel Hill. The off-campus plan currently includes 26 merchants and just 70 participants, however, it is just weeks old. Jersey Mike’s Subs was one of the initial merchants participating in the Chapel Hill program. According Michael Rose, the restaurant’s General Manager, “operation and end of day settlement are very easy, just like with our other payment terminal.” Mr. Rose reports that though card use has been moderate to date, he is convinced that levels will rise as CDN has been marketing the program and the participating merchants heavily via, “ads, flyers, giveaways, even door-to-door.”

The response from college dining program managers has been understandably cool, although not necessarily adversarial. UNC-Chapel Hill offers the Carolina Dining Services meal plan, a voluntary plan that currently serves approximately 4,600 out of 7,000 on-campus students. Following the addition of several new on-campus vendors (including Subway, Burger King, and Jamba Juice) in the last year the University saw a dramatic increase in revenue, up more than $1 million in the on-campus food services operations.

Also, in spite of some industry speculation that bank-sponsored off-campus debit programs hurt on-campus sales, UNC-Chapel Hill has experienced these revenue increases while the school has partnered with Wachovia Bank to issue a Visa Check Card as part of the UNC One Card. “We have not changed our program in light of the off-campus offerings,” said Mike Freeman, UNC-Chapel Hill’s Director of Auxiliary Services. “We believe that our continued success will come as a result of quality, convenient services offered at a fair price.”

It seems that CDN’s offering is most appealing to those students who live off-campus while the UNC-Chapel Hill program has increased sales among its core group of on-campus residents. It appears that in Chapel Hill, both plans may be able to coexist and even, perhaps, compliment one another. Whether this holds true in the other 17 cities in which CDN has launched–or is preparing to launch–competitive meal plan offerings remains to be seen.

In light of the Chapel Hill, N.C. example, some common business criteria continue to apply. If products and services are priced competitively and offer convenience, the sales will come. Conversely, no amount of convenience will compensate for poor product offerings that are out of step with the market’s demands. While there are those who might disagree, competition is indeed a good thing.

You can learn more about the Campus Dining Network at www.campusdiningnetwork.com and the UNC-Chapel Hill OneCard at www. onecard.unc.edu/default.htm

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter

RECENT POSTS

Feb 03, 23 /

Brown campus mailroom adds visual queue

Brown University has added a new visual queue in its campus mailroom that displays the order in which students will be called to pick up their packages. The system is underpinned by the student ID card and a kiosk system in the mailroom.
Feb 02, 23 / ,

East Carolina adds robot delivery with Grubhub, Starship

East Carolina University has joined the growing list of institutions to deploy robot delivery, partnering with Grubhub and Starship Technologies to provide the service. All students, faculty and staff at East Carolina University are able to leverage robot delivery from main campus dining locations.

LEAF on campus: An open standard for access control and identity management

ELATEC's Sean Houchin discusses a solution for campuses seeking an open alternative to traditional access control platforms: LEAF. LEAF is an open, interoperable platform that allows credential holders to use their LEAF ID card, key fob or smartphone to unlock access to various campus applications through any LEAF-enabled reader.
CIDN logo reversed
The only publication dedicated to the use of campus cards, mobile credentials, identity and security technology in the education market. CampusIDNews – formerly CR80News – has served more than 6,500 subscribers for more than two decades.
Twitter

Join us, @NACCUorg, and @TouchNet to explore how campus card programs can successfully navigate the sales and procurement process. Join the webinar on June 6, 2 pm EDT. https://go.touchnet.com/l/652093/2022-05-18/lsndq

Webinar: Learn how the University of Arizona uses campus cards, mobile ordering, kiosks, lockers, and robots to revolutionize campus dining. April 7, 2-2:30 EDT. Register Now at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/7821245544009488910?source=campus-id

As supply chain issues in 2021 persist, identity solutions provider @ColorID discusses ways campuses can to overcome potentially troublesome delays until the situation eases.

https://www.cr80news.com/news-item/protecting-your-campus-card-program-from-supply-chain-issues/

A dining services push at the @UBuffalo is reinforcing the utility of self-service checkout. @CBORD is improving the food service experience using the GET app, as well as Nextep kiosks and Oracle’s Micros Simphony POS.

https://www.cr80news.com/news-item/kiosks-self-service-tech-streamline-campus-food-service-u-buffalo/

Did you miss our recent webinar? No worries - watch it on-demand. Leaders from @NAU and the @UAlberta joined Ryan Audus, Touchnet, and Andrew Hudson, @CR80News, to discuss innovative mobile services and the future of mobile tech in higher ed. Watch now: https://bit.ly/31RFyLn

Load More...
Contact
CampusIDNews is published by AVISIAN Publishing
315 E. Georgia St.
Tallahassee, FL 32301
www.AVISIAN.com[email protected]
Use our contact form to submit tips, corrections, or questions to our team.
©2023 CampusIDNews. All rights reserved.