A recent Universities UK report stated that: “The student experience is predicated on more than teaching and learning. Universities can challenge students socially and culturally, by pushing them to collaborate, socialise and often live with new people who may come from different backgrounds.”
Good university and college refreshment and catering facilities have a vital role to play in enhancing this “student experience”. These spaces have huge potential and are much more than just a place to ‘refuel’ and can be vibrant, cultural hubs where students mix with peers and academic staff and engage with the broader university and college community. But in a time of financial constraints, these catering services must generate a healthy income for the university.
To encourage students to use the facilities and acknowledging the high street as the main competition, catering teams understand that they need to keep pace with expectations and high street trends, as students become ever more sophisticated consumers of food and beverages.
Thirst Link is helping a growing number of university and college catering teams consider how to stay ahead of the competition and generate a healthy income, while providing the kind of environment that enhances the lives of students and staff. Our involvement is not about taking anything away from the university in terms of control but is about providing that much needed additional expert resource to help them through what can be a difficult and lengthy process.
Three such Universities we have worked with are Staffordshire, Sheffield Hallam and Harper Adams. We were delighted to work alongside their teams helping them to bring new, attractive and reliable vending facilities to the university. Out went the old machines, numerous suppliers, and varying quality of service and product offering, and in came new machines delivering reliability and excellent quality drinks and snacks, a single supplier and a sizeable increase in their vending sales bringing much needed income to the university.