Client Success Story - University of Notre Dame
- Two large all-you-care-to-eat dining facilities
- Eighteen retail operations
- Full-service catering
- Table-service restaurant
- Student center with C-store and franchises
- Commissary/support facility
Notre Dame's support facility is composed of cook-chill, assembly, vegetable processing, deli processing, bake shop, butcher shop, warehouse, and packaging. The facility is licensed by Starbucks®, Sbarros®, Subway®, and Burger King® to produce items for the franchises on campus.
The facility's origins date back to Notre Dame's founding in the 1800s. After various evolutions, a study was conducted in the 1990s to create a long-term plan for the school's food service operations. One result was the creation of a facility for central processing, receiving, and warehousing, which would become the support operation, working with departments across campus to streamline production.
"We enjoy being able to work with all different parts of campus," says John Glon, General Manager of Notre Dame's Support Center. "We have fairly extensive operations to support—dining halls, concessions, vending, restaurants, religious houses, convalescence for retired priests, day-care centers, etc. Our centralized production helps to relieve the stresses on their individual kitchens."
Maintaining Retail Identity
Notre Dame's eighteen retail operations compete for a significant share of the school's food service revenue. Each operation has its own unique elements, which Glon and his staff take specific measures to maintain.
"Our retail operations are really a big, happy family, but they fight like brothers and sisters," says Glon. "We are all working for Notre Dame, but naturally each operation wants to be unique and independent of the others. This presents some interesting challenges to our central production folks who want to consolidate labor."
"Central processing, in a nutshell, is about finding a practice that many people are doing separately and allowing it to be completed by a few people, rather than many," explains Glon. "Sandwiches are a great example. Many retail locations across campus want to offer sandwiches, but they each want theirs to be unique. So we decided to create a line of upscale sandwiches with different packaging and labeling for each location. Then we brought everyone together for a ‘Grand Sandwich Test,' during which each location developed a signature sandwich of its own, in addition to a shared cycle line of standard sandwiches."
"We were able to become more efficient by centrally producing both the standard sandwiches and the ingredients for the signature sandwiches. The engineering eliminated ingredients and bread baking on-site, which made us more efficient but still allowed units to decide what we would prepare for them. I think this is a practice we will see more of in the future as a way to provide individuality while working within central engineering."
Glon and his team work hard to maintain this healthy sense of competition and individuality without sacrificing efficiency.
"No one wants to be told they have to do something in a certain way," he notes. "What we try to do instead is discover what goals they are working toward, present various ideas on more efficient means of accomplishing them, and let them pick and choose. Finding this balance is a skill we have all worked together to develop. Retail is constantly changing, which makes it interesting for those of us in central processing to ‘move and groove' with the industry."
Foodservice Suite from CBORD® is used in various operations across Notre Dame's campus. Dining halls enjoy the benefits of the system's forecasting capabilities, while central processing operations find the system's various reporting options most helpful.
"We have a very complicated operation at Notre Dame," explains Glon. "CBORD has made custom programs for us, which has helped us tailor the system to meet our unique needs. It is important for us to communicate often because it takes a while for an outside company to fully understand the complexity of what we do. There have been bumps and problems to solve, but CBORD has consistently been willing to listen to our feedback and make changes based on our requests. That's an important consideration when choosing a company to work with, not just a product."
Food Service Highlights
- 1,665 items stocked
- 1,409,827 units produced
- 989 items offered
- 467,955 units produced
- 673 items offered
- 1,013,886 units produced
Notre Dame uses the following modules of Foodservice Suite: Menu Management System®, Inventory Management System, Order Transmission interface, EventMaster® PLUS!, Nutritional Accounting System, and CBORD Master Nutrient Database. The school is also planning to implement the Handheld Inventory Management System in the near future and is a user of CBORD's Odyssey PCS™ campus card system with MICROS® point-of-sale terminals.