Frequently Asked Questions
Does this research determine
the future of NACUFS?
No, the Campus Dining: 2030 and Beyond research project is focused on the
foodservice industry, particularly collegiate dining. NACUFS strategy is separate
and apart from this project and is determined by the NACUFS Board of
Who is conducting the
The research is being undertaken by the Chaplin School of Hospitality and
Tourism Management at Florida International University.
How will the research outcomes
The academic research team at Florida International University will hold
focus groups, conduct surveys and bring together a diverse group of
participants for a think tank style session to determine the recommendations
provided in the final project. The quantitative data collection will be
conducted using random sampling to ensure the data is not skewed in any
direction. This data, combined with the qualitative data from the focus groups
and think tank, will be analyzed and used to explore solutions to better
position collegiate dining professionals as they design their future programs.
How will research participants be selected?
Consistent with the rigors of academic research, subjects in the quantitative
portion of the research will be selected via random sampling. NACUFS and the
project's partners will have no impact on those selected to participate in this
research. Qualitative cohorts will be designed based on the principle of
Why is a diverse
array of research subjects being tapped for this, rather than limiting the
cohort(s) to self-operators?
Studying a diverse array of subjects who are representative of
the collegiate dining industry and foodservice industry as a whole ensures that
a variety of viewpoints and perspectives are included. This approach will advance
the project and is expected to bring to light novel concepts that otherwise may
not have been identified with a more narrowly defined cohort.
Florida International University is not a NACUFS member, why are
An extensive RFP process took place to find the best research partner for this
project, resulting in the selection of Florida International University. FIU’s
Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management is highly ranked in the
United States and globally. The university's dining department is not involved in the
How were the Advisory Board
Advisory Board members were selected based on their diversity and the specific
needs of the FIU research team. Specialists in areas such as design and
technology were chosen for the expertise they bring, along with operators,
contract administrators, and others with a broad scope of knowledge.
What is the role
of the Advisory Board?
Board’s role is to ensure the overall project is inclusive of varied
stakeholder groups. They also ensure that the research/research design looks at
the immediate environment as well as the broader environment or context.
However, the research design and protocol decisions will be made by the FIU
research team, not the Advisory Board.
Is NACUFS partnering with anyone on this project?
although NACUFS is the sole research sponsor and entity contracted with FIU,
NACUFS has a limited number of partners who are providing funds to NACUFS to
offset the project costs. These partners are not in a position to
influence the research outcomes in any way. The project is being conducted as academic research
and will be held to the rigorous standards of such research.
When will the research project
outcomes be available?
The results are expected to become available to NACUFS members in the fall of
How does this
research align with NACUFS’ strategy?
NACUFS’ mission is to support and promote excellence in
collegiate dining. By providing recommendations that collegiate dining
operations can consider as they plan for the future, this project is directly aligned
with the NACUFS mission. The NACUFS 2022-2024 strategy is built on this mission
and includes four strategic initiatives, which were approved by the NACUFS
Board of Trustees in the fall of 2021. These initiatives are to:
- Advance learning and development within the collegiate
- Communicate NACUFS brand qualities and value-added proposition
to all stakeholders, including current and future members
- Provide pathways for all NACUFS members to optimally engage and
- Ensure that NACUFS is an inclusive organization that seeks a
diverse membership and customer base
Each of these strategic initiatives will be advanced by the
Campus Dining: 2030 and Beyond research project. The project will further the
industry’s understanding of future challenges and create an opportunity to transfer
knowledge related to the future and help operators make sound strategic
decisions. The project will also create opportunities to reach
new stakeholders, communicating the value of NACUFS in new ways. Further, it will provide pathways for NACUFS members to engage and connect – giving NACUFS
members new ideas to ponder and work together to enact in their operations.
Finally, the project is consistent with and supportive of NACUFS’ priority
strategic initiative to be an inclusive organization.
Is this research
project consistent with NACUFS’ core values?
Yes, this project is consistent with NACUFS’ core values of
inclusiveness, continuous improvement, critical thinking, integrity and
responsiveness, and the project is directly related to each value. NACUFS’ dedication
to continuous improvement is exemplified in this project, as the
organization works to bring new information to members. It is also an exercise
in critical thinking and responsiveness, in which NACUFS has considered the
outcomes and what actions must be taken to respond to the current environment. Finally, the project embodies integrity and
inclusiveness, as the research is being conducted consistent with the highest academic
standards and is supportive of NACUFS' strategic initiative to be an inclusive
program create opportunities for NACUFS members to share best practices and
Dining: 2030 and Beyond will culminate in a symposium, allowing members to
network and discuss the project in person. Members can also use the resulting
research to begin conversations on NACUFS Connect, and within their own
Is this research
for the benefit of self-operators?
research resulting from Campus Dining: 2030 and Beyond will
identify opportunities and challenges expected to confront
collegiate dining in 2030 and beyond. Self-operators can use this
information to prepare their operation for the coming years, plan for the
future of technology and labor, and use the information to work on such plans with their