Nottingham Trent University

Nottingham Trent University

Nottingham Trent University (NTU) is a leading public research university in Nottingham, England. It was founded as a new university in 1992 from Trent Polytechnic.

NTU was awarded the University of the Year at the 2017 Times Higher Education awards and the Modern University of the Year by The Sunday Times in the same year.

There are circa 28,000 students – 5,000 post grads and 23,000 undergrads.

Director of Campus Services, Nottingham Trent University, said: “The catering review was authoritative and insightful and has given us clear direction for the next five years. A good result.”

Background

Catering sales stand at £4.5 million and the university has a range of retail catering outlets across the two main campuses (City and Clifton). There are two smaller locations: Confetti, a specialist creative technology college in the city and; Brackenhurst, the School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences.

In recent years the Campus Services team had developed the catering offers and successfully refurbished a number of outlets resulting in an increase in sales. To move to the next level they had produced a five year business plan setting out how they wanted to further develop the services.

Brief

Litmus was engaged to conduct a peer review of the plan to ensure that the most appropriate strategy and service delivery model was in place for the provision of catering and retail services over the next five years.

Approach

Nigel Forbes, the Litmus Partnership, said: “Our main objectives were to identify opportunities for service improvements and revenue growth including potential new revenue streams, as well as ensuring the catering offer is coherent, thereby providing a high quality, value for money service to students, staff and visitors.

“Our review methodology began with an operational assessment, which entailed viewing activity in the outlets during different parts of the day before we went onto conduct a financial analysis, benchmarking against financial metrics of other HE intuitions.

“We also compared the current in-house model to others that are available in the market in order to determine the most appropriate strategy and service delivery model for the future.”

Outcomes

Working with the NTU Campus Services and catering team Litmus created a new five year business plan with recommendations in the following areas:

  • Refurbishment of three existing outlets;
  • Changes to the food offer in two outlets;
  • The need to open two new outlets to grow hot food sales;
  • Customer marketing initiatives and the benefit of professional marketing input; and
  • Financial forecasts based on different scenarios.
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“The catering review was authoritative and insightful and has given us clear direction for the next five years. A good result.”

Director of Campus Services, Nottingham Trent University