Prices higher at on-campus franchises

Students pay more for items at on-campus restaurants including Chick-fil-A and Subway due to the contracts negotiated by Alabama dining services.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — If a student buys a Chick-fil-A sandwich combo at the Ferguson Center for lunch every school day for a semester, they will spend around $140 more than if they had purchased the same meal at an off-campus location.

The price difference is a result of the franchise agreement between Bama Dining and the restaurant. Most restaurants in the Ferguson Center kept prices close to off-campus prices, but Chick-fil-A prices on campus are significantly higher. A Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich combo at the Ferguson Center, for example, comes with a 32 percent markup compared to off-campus prices.

Kristina Hopton-Jones, director of UA Dining Services, said restaurants have a great amount of control over several aspects of on-campus franchises.

“Bama Dining holds the franchise license for the national brands in the food service locations and the brand determines the price in most cases,” she said. “Just as the brand determines the equipment, fixtures and signage, they also determine the pricing. The pricing tier assigned for the locations comes from the brand based on the franchise agreement.”

Hopton-Jones also said Bama Dining runs all of the food services on campus, and the brands are brought to campus through market research, surveys, focus groups and current trends.

In an emailed statement, Denise Schilling, a customer care representative for Subway, said the on-campus restaurant has a large amount of leeway in setting prices.

“As all Subway locations are individually owned and operated, pricing, promotions and the acceptance of coupons may vary from location to location,” she said in an email.

Chick-fil-A Spokesperson Mark Baldwin said the company works with the University to set prices for on-campus franchises.

“We work with our food service business partners in conjunction with their client – The University of Alabama, in this case – to establish on-campus pricing that meets guidelines that Chick-fil-A

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

An agreement between Northwestern University’s new foodservice vendor and the union that represents many of the school’s service workers has put to rest some staff concerns over its upcoming vendor switch, reports The Daily Northwestern .

Unite Here Local 1 said that it met with representatives of Compass Group North America, which assumes control of the Evanston, Ill., school’s foodservice this fall, and reached a deal to ensure that staff who previously worked under Sodexo and Aramark would have job security with Compass. In addition, the agreement continues many benefits that...

Ideas and Innovation
scratch card

Two days a week, we do scratch card purchases of $6 or more to get a free item on the next visit. Patients and staff look forward to the Monday and Friday scratch card days. It increases sales on slow days as well as guest satisfaction.

Ideas and Innovation
ramen noodles

The Arkansas Heart Hospital in Little Rock has unveiled a new, full-time food truck called Food from the Heart. It’s the first hospital-owned and operated food truck in the nation, according to KATV .

The truck, which will offer a limited menu that includes Chef Coby Smith ’s popular ramen, served its first meal on May 2 and will roll out service throughout the area beginning next month, the report said.

In addition, it will have pop-up locations, allowing the hospital to extend its reach to communities outside metro Little Rock. The truck can also be used in emergency...

Industry News & Opinion

In a bid to boost sustainability, Dartmouth Dining Services recently replaced its paper straws with red-and-white paper versions that are biodegradable, The Dartmouth reports .

The move is “a small step but a very important one,” Associate Director of Dining Services Don Reed told The Dartmouth.

While paper straws are slightly more expensive for the department than plastic ones, the difference is slight enough to justify, Reed says.

Not all students at the Hanover, N.H., school are on board with the change, however, and some are reportedly hoarding straws from...

FSD Resources

Code for Asynchronous jQuery Munchkin Tracking Code