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Branding at UBC : a look at franchises and their impact on sustainability Foo, Grace; Lau, Jenny; Lung, Karen; McNeil, Sarah; Simpson, Madeline; Siu, Michael; Wong, Matthew 2002-04-03

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UBC Social Ecological Economic Development Studies (SEEDS) Student Report       Branding at UBC: A Look at Franchises and their Impact on Sustainability Grace Foo, Jenny Lau, Karen Lung, Sarah McNeil, Madeline Simpson, Michael Siu, Matthew Wong  University of British Columbia AGSC 450 April 3, 2002           Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report”.       Branding at UBC: A Loo k at Franchises and their Imp act on Sustainabilit y               Group 14: Grac e Foo, J enn y Lau, Karen Lun g Sarah McN eil , Madeli ne Sim pson,  Michael Siu, Matt hew Wong  - 2  - There ar e man y dif fer ent brands associated with the Universit y of Britis h Columbia (UBC) food service system.  A brand is defined as “a distinctive kind or variety” (Steinm etz , 2002) .  Some ex ampl es of branding at UBC are th e us e of Coca - C ola cold bever a ges on campu s, different fran chise outl ets, and the selli ng of S tarbucks cof fee.  The impact of franchises on the sust ainabili t y of the UBC campus is addre ssed in this analytical report. A franchise is defined as “the right granted to an individual or group to market a company’s goods or services in a particular territory” (Babcock, 1986).  Gener all y, th e owne r of a franchise retail outl e t must purchase the right to use the compan y name, pur chase products from the comp an y, and pa y ro ya lt ies to the compan y.  Whil e there are financ ial comm it ments associated with fran chises , t he use of a company’s name often provides selling power due to consumer recognition.  The impacts of franchises ar e ex ami ned b y comparin g fran chi ses with non - fran chises.  Currentl y, all franchises ar e ope rated by UBC Food Servi ces (UBC FS ); thus the comp ari son was mad e between food outl ets operated b y UBC FS only.  In particula r, Brea d Garden was compared to Trekk ers for specific an al ys es bec ause both caf eteria -st yle outl ets serve sim il ar foods in a compar able atm ospher e.   UBCFS is a self -funded operati on that has food service outl ets throu gh out the UBC campus.  Its mission is to “promote and support the university and the greater comm unit y b y providi n g good food, frie ndl y s ervices, and value, while maintaining financial int e grit y th rou gh dedicat ed and ski lled employees.” ( UBC FS , 19 97).  In addit ion to UBCFS outl ets, UBCFS has been int roducin g different franchises to th e UBC campus since 1998 (U BC FS , 200 1).    - 3  - Underl yi n g Assumpt ions and Definiti o ns Sustainabil it y is a compl ex iss ue involvi ng the int eracti on of three components: ecolo gical, economi c an d social. It all ows for conti nued success and functi oning int o perpetui t y if mana ged correctl y.   Howeve r, someti mes these three components are not compatibl e with each oth er, fu rther compl icati n g t he achievement of sustai nabil it y.  Since sust ainabili t y is an abs tract concept, diff erent indi cators are used to assess social, economi c, and ecolo gical sust ainabili t y.   We have chos en diff er e nt indi cators of sust ain abil it y for ea ch of the three components. These ind icators refle ct the consensus posi ti on of the students conducti ng thi s anal ysis .  The group has a weak anthropo centr ic (human based) and weak indi vidual -freedom based posi ti on. Our weak anthropoc entri c posi ti on is shaped by our stud y of a food s yst em desi gned to serve hum an ne eds (ie. human based ); howev er, our conc ern for environmental prese rvati on lends a non -human based dim ension . Our posi ti on can be defined as weak indi vidual freedom based be cause we are conc ern e d with personal choices and pref eren ces. There fore, our indi cators encompass both environmental factors and personal pr efe renc es.  Moreover, the envi ron mental iss ues consi dered are factors that ma y aff ect our well -bein g.    Accept ance was choos en as the social sust ainabili t y indi c ator  as it en com passes factors that UBC students and facult y members render ed important in determi ning their freedom and access to th e food av ail able at UBC .  Economi c viabili t y and equit y were th e chosen indi cato rs of eco nomi c sust ainabili t y as t he y include persp ecti ves from both food service provid ers and co nsum ers.  Finall y, waste reducti on and sourcin g were used as ecolo gical indi cators for thi s anal ysis bec ause the y repres ent both ends of the food  - 4  - service spe ctrum: input s and output s.  Both indi cators reflect impacts on our environment that ma y thr eaten ou r spe cies ex ist ence in the futur e. In formation used for th is anal ysis is obtained from the information packa ge provided by the AGS C 450 teaching te am, perso nal comm unicati on with the director of UBCFS Andr ew Par r, an d data coll ecti on from different UBCFS outl ets. Soc ial sust ainabili t y im pli es the all ocati on of rights and oppo rtunit ies to all , ensuring human well -be ing.  Various acti ons that are posi ti ve to one part y ma y be detrimental to anoth er.  A so ciall y sust ainabl e or ganiz ati on would fore go potential benefits due to negati ve repercussi ons that ma y be felt by some, alt hou gh it can be dist ant from the direct s ystem.  Involvem ent in the communi t y and reco gniz ing its distinctness while workin g to protect it are also ver y import ant components of thi s conc ept. Economi c sust ainabili t y can often be in di rect conflict with eco logical sust ainabili t y.  The viab il it y of a compan y and i ts abil it y to be profit able are the most comm on way to view ec onomi c sust ainabili t y.  Accessi b il it y to potential consum ers has a large impact on dete rmini ng wh ether or not a com pan y will reach and mai ntain a state of economi c sust ainabili t y.   Ecologic al sust ainabili t y is likel y the component of sust ainabili t y that rec eives the most recognit ion.  It invol ves a respect for the nat ural environment, requiri ng a goal of no environmental de grad ati on.  Viewing our relation ship with the land and our surroundings as stewardship rather th an ownership is of utm ost importance.  Takin g a stewardship approach im pli es that one reco gniz es that the land must be passed on to future gen erati ons in an accep table state.  A comm on misconcepti on is that the anal ysis of ecolo gical sust ainabili t y ends at the time of harve st.  However, while it does include the  - 5  - actual produ cti on, it also encompass es pro cessi n g, transport, and ma rketi ng, as the y have an impact on the environ ment. SOCIAL:  Accept ance as an indi ca tor of social sust ain abil it y can be measu red b y variet y, perceiv ed quali t y of foo d and accessi bil it y.  Acc essi bil it y refe rs specific a ll y to wheth er the restau rant has a debit machine avail able so th at it is more acc essi ble for a po rtion of students.       Variet y was measur ed b y the number of different t ypes of food avail able in two sim ilar food service outl ets.  In addit ion, the perceiv ed quali t y was ex ami ned by an al yz in g p ast rese arch studi es don e for UBC FS .  In formation on accessi bi li t y was obtained b y info rmati on from Andre w Pa rr.    Variet y was measur ed by compa ring the num ber of differ ent t ypes of food avail able in two food service outl ets, Trekk er s (non-f ranchise ) and Bread Gard en (fran chise). After anal yz ing the menu of Trekkers and Bread Garden, we reco gniz ed that both food service outl et s offer app rox im atel y ni ne cate gori es of food se lecti ons.  Each food service outl et has particular spe ci alt y items that cannot be found in the other outl et. Trekkers offe rs cat e gorie s such as piz z a, ice -cre a m and break fast which cannot be found in Bread Garden. Howe ver, Br ead Gard en offe r s alt ernati ves such as casserole, pasta, wraps, and a wide varie t y of bev era ges that are not avail able in Trekke rs. In addit ion, there are more ve getaria n selecti ons in Bread Garden than Tr ekkers. This finding fro m our analysis agrees with the students’ opinions given in a UBCFS survey. In the survey,  - 6  - students perceive the UBC Food Service as not providing enough variety of “healthier” alt ernati ves such as vegetarian dishes, and th at branding will increas e variet y of food offer ed on th e campus (Far rell , 1996a ).  Ther efo re, we con clude th at eac h food se rvice outl et serves its purposes for different customers’ needs. It is the accumulated food opti ons from both franchise and non-franchis e that increase vari et y, wh ere custom ers can choose ac cordin g to their personal pre fer enc e. After reviewin g s ever al rese arch studi es on the UBC FS , it is found th at most students or facult y m embers are diss ati sfied with the quali t y of food at UBCFS becaus e “it lacks variety” or “it lacks healthier or other ethical food choices” (Farrell, 1996a). Man y su ggested that mor e brands avail able on the cam pus would incr eas e the variet y and quali t y of foods av ail able, as well as providi ng assurance of a sim il ar quali t y ever y time (Fa rrell , 1996b). The refo re, there is a gener al con sensus that int roducti on of brand name foods is associati on with increas ed qual it y. Furthermo re, the av ail ab il it y of debit machine wil l increase the conv enie nce for students to buy food. Thus, the availability of debit machine may influence the students’ acc ess to food and it is used to measure accessi bil it y. Throu gh observ ati on of t he cashier counters at Trekke rs an d Bread Garden, it is found that onl y Bread Gar den provides a debit machine.  Accordin g to Parr (2002), the inst all ati on of debit machines is determi ned by the transa cti on load and cash flow of dif fer ent food servi ce outl e ts.  It would appea r that fran chises do not have dire ct impact of thi s aspect; how ever, franchi se outl ets ma y att ract more custom ers and have an incr eas ed cas h flow, thus increasin g t he possi bli t y of receivi n g a debit machin e.  ECONOMICS:   - 7  -  Economi c viabili t y and economi c equit y of UBCFS outl ets were ex amined as indi cators of economi c sust ainabili t y.  This ana l ysis appro ach es econo mi c viabili t y b y investi gati n g diff eren ces in financial liabil it y and consum er popula rit y between two t yp es of food se rvice outl e ts.  Additi onall y, the ave r age pric es of sim il ar fo od items were compared to determi ne t he economi c equit y of different outl ets (Ref er to Appendix for detailed price compariso n).   Both franchise and non - franchise oper ati ons hav e advant a ges and disadv anta g es in terms of economi c viabili t y.  Franchise op e rati ons have br and nam e reco gnit ion, givi n g them the abil it y to market to a large r consum er base.  Whil e non -franchise operati ons ma y not have the consum er mass and lo yalt y associat ed with franchises, their flex ibi lit y all ows th em t o tar get consum ers more specific all y, caterin g to their demands.  In terms of ex penses, s tarti ng a franchise busi ness means hi ghe r start -up costs and addit ional fees required for ini ti al traini ng of staff .  The costs associated wit h franchis es include not onl y the high er start -up costs but also addit ional ye arl y fees tha t must be paid to the franchise chain.  This cost usuall y ran ges from 10 -15% of the total profit s made.   We reali z e that these numbers have an impact on the sust ain abil it y of our s ystem, however du e to iss ue of confidenti ali t y the ex act amount s cannot be disclosed to us. These addit ional costs m a y refl ect the hi gher pric es in their menus.   From our anal ysis of pr ice lists of Br ead Gard e n and Trekk ers, we saw a less diverse and hi gher priced menu at Bread Gard en with prices ran gin g from $3.99 to $6.99 per meal; wher eas at Trekkers the pric e was lo wer ran gin g from $2.75 to $5.25.  The prices at Trekkers se em to refle ct the demand of the consum er.  A UBCF S report stat es  that students were will ing to pa y a max im um of $5.00 to 9.99 per me al (Far well , 2000).  - 8  - This brings up the iss ue of economi c equit y incl uding factors such as aff ordabil it y and convenienc e, which wer e discussed in the social component of our report. In thi s secti on we cove red the us e of debit machines, whic h is directl y related to the iss ue of convenienc e.  These fact ors are important to businesses to meet the needs and wants of consum ers. ECOLOGICAL:        There are s ever al ecolo gical iss ues that shoul d be address ed when deali n g with the iss ue of franchises at UBC.  Ecolo gic al impa cts can be tr ac ed from th e be ginni n g of food producti on through harvest, transport, pro ces sing, and pa cka gin g.  Iss ues that shoul d be consi der ed include producti on methods (ie, or ganic ve rsus int ensive agricult ur e), locati on of producti on (i e, local, region al, nati onal, int ernati onal), en er g y use (ie, fossil fuel use for harv est and transport, producti on of fertili z ers, et c.), and waste asso ciate d with packa gin g. For thi s anal ysis on the relations hip between food s ystem sust ainabili t y and franchises, th e focus is on the abil it y to reduc e waste and the abil it y to source input s, comparin g the flex ibi li ty of the franchise vers us the non -franchis e.  Both ecolo gical indi cators are closel y related to exist ing UBCF S poli c y.  The abil it y to participate in waste reducti on was det ermined by dete rmini ng whether the outl et offers discount for customers who bring their own containers. Sourcing represents UBCFS’s ability to control the input of th e food s yst em; thi s is ex ami ned by investi gati ng agreem ents between UBCFS and di ff erent fr anchises. It was found that in all outl ets discounts are giv en for brin gin g non -disp osable coffe e mugs, but not all outl ets provided discounts for bringin g containers .  For ex ampl e,  - 9  - Bread Garden food is all pre -pr epar ed and wrapp ed at the central kit chen, and therefo re the s ystem do es not all o w for reduc ed wast e.  Likewise, in Subwa y all s andwiches are wrapped in the tr adem ark Subwa y wax ed pa per.  Thus, we determ ined t hat non -franchises have a gre ater abil it y to reduc e waste th an non -fr anchises.        The abil it y to sour c e food is important because UBCFS can requ est that, for ex ampl e, produce be purchase from local producers when ever possi b le.  The same request can be made for provisi on of staples such as flour, sugar, che ese , etc.      In fr anchises , man y of the products carri ed are sign a ture items that must be identical from franchis e to fran chise regardl ess of locati on.  This makes it difficult for UBCFS to s ource input s.  In fact, mo st products used for fr anc hise oper ati ons are proprieta r y, me anin g th at the y must be pu rchased as per fran chis e speci ficati ons (Parr, 2002 ).  For thi s reason, non -fr anchises are more likel y to be su stainable than franchises at UBC. CONCLUSION:  The impacts of branding on sust ainabili t y in the UBCFS wer e evalua ted by ex ami ning the operati ons of UBC FS outl ets.  However, it was found that man y pie ces of critical information could not be obtained due to the confidenti ali t y as sociated with contracts and finan cial agr eements.  Throu ghout the proc ess of thi s ass essm ent, the iss ue of brandin g with respect to sust ainabili t y was ap proached with a weak anthropocentric and weak indi vidual -b ase d posi ti on.    - 10  - After ca reful consi de rati on of the indi cators, it was determi ned that franc hise and non-fran chise food servi ce outl ets have contr ibut ed diff erentl y to th e sust ainabili t y of the food s ystem on campus . The eli mi nati on of eit her t yp e of food s ervic e out lets would be detrimental to the state of sust ainabili t y in the UBC food s ystem. Ind eed, the balance of both franchise and non - franchis e food servic e outl ets was identified to be critical to improve the curr ent state of sust ainabili t y.   UBCFS can furthe r enha nce sust ainabili t y b y in c orporati n g mor e envi ron mentall y sound ed  ideas with both franchise and non -fr anch ise servic es.   For inst an c e, use of local produce,  dishwa re in place of pap er and plasti c dishes, and compos ti ng biod e gr adable wastes can gr eatl y enhanc e the de gre e of sust ainabili t y.      R ega rdin g the appr opriateness of establi shing fran chises from the perspecti ve of sust ainabili t y, it was found that franchises could be appropri ate and could improve the sust ainabili t y of UBC food s ys tem.  Howeve r, car eful ex ami nati ons shoul d be done on particular fran chises to determi ne their suit abil it y to UBC campus .  As UBC mak es a comm it ment to improve campus sust ainabili t y, UBCFS , which has determi ne d to support UBC and the gr eate r comm unit y, sho uld also make a comm it ment in onl y int rodu cing sust ainab le franchises to campus .    UBC has identified the desire to upgrade and maintain infrastructure “so that UBC is seen as a model of a sust ainable campus : safe, cle an, livable and environmentall y frien dly.” (UBC, 2001).  If this is in fact a goal of the university, and therefore the food s ystem, we feel that it is important that an y fra nchises associat ed with UBC shar e thi s  - 11  - core value.  It is paramount that students see the university’s commitment to th is goal in acti on bec ause, as phil osopher David Orr put it, "W hat is desperatel y ne ed ed ar e facult y and admi nist rators who provide role models of int egrit y, car e thought fulness, and inst it uti ons capable of embod yin g ideals wholl y and compl etel y in all of t heir oper ati ons" (1991).   In addit ion, furth er rese ar ch and greater ac cessi bil it y to info rmati on about UCBFS operati ons is needed to present a mor e compr ehensive and obje cti ve anal ysis on the current st atus of sust aina bil it y.  The following is a list of po tential proje ct s that could be conducted in the futur e.   Projects related to franch ises:  C ompetit ion among fran chises with AMS food se rvice outl ets  Franchises located in the village that are not operated by UBCFS such Benny’s Bagel and McDonald’s.  Factors  shoul d be consi d ered in contr acti n g fr anc hises Projects related to br andi ng:   Brandin g of cold beve ra ges; agre ement with Coca Cola  Avail abil it y of Starbu cks coffe e  P roducts sold b y vendin g machines  - 12  - REFERENCES Babco ck, P. (ed ). 1986. Webster's Third New International Dictionary . Merriam Webster In c Publi shers, Massachu ssetts .   Far rell Resea rch Group Ltd. 2000. UBC Food Services. Farr ell Resea rch Group Ltd. Vancouve r.  Far rell Resear ch Group Ltd. 1996a. UBC Fo od Services Mini -grou ps: Ex ploring Custom er Needs. (Sum mar y Report). Fa rrell Rese arch Group Lt d. Van cou ver.   Far rell Resear ch Group Ltd. 1996b. UBC Food Services: A Surve y of Food on Campus . Far rell Resea rch Group Ltd. Van couve r.  Orr, David. 1991. “What is Education for?”. Trumpeter 8:3 Summ er, pages 99 -102. Victoria.  Steinmetz , Sol. 2002. Random House Webster’s college dictionary. 2 n d  editi on. Random House. USA.   UBC Food Se rvices. 200 1. Five Ye ar Business Plan. UBC Food Servic es. Vancouve r.  Websites:  Universit y of Britis h C olum bia. 2001. Principles, Goals and Strategies . Trek 2000. Avail able at: htt p:/ /www.visi e ml . Accessed on: March 27, 2002.   UBC Food Se rvices. 199 7. UBC Food Services . Avail able at: htt p:/ /www.foodserv.ubc.c a Access ed on: March 27, 2002.   - 13  - APPENDIX  Trekkers Bread Garden Type of Product Price ($) Variety Type of Product Price ($) Variety Soup 1.90  2  Soup  3.20  1   2.55      Avg Price 2.23     Salad 2.35  5  Salad  6.79  6   3.85    6.99    1.60    4.99    2.60    4.29 (2 selecti ons)    5.25    2.49   Avg Price 3.13  Avg Price 4.97  Rice Bowl 3.75  1  Rice Bowl  6.99  1        Sandwiches 3.90 (5 selecti ons)  12  Sandwiches  4.99  5   5.05    3.59    3.25    5.50 (3 selecti ons)    3.89       4.90 (2 selecti ons)       3.40       4.10      Avg Price 4.08  Avg Price 5.02  Baked Goods /Dessert 1.17  13  Baked Goods /Dessert  2.99 (2 t yp es)  10   1.60 (2 selecti ons)    1.99    1.70    1.89 (3 t yp es)    1.65    1.69 (3 t yp es)    1.07    0.79    0.75       1.65       1.55 (2 selecti ons)       1.40       1.45      Ice - cre am  1.35      Avg Price 1.42  Avg Price 1.95  Beverages 2.35  9  Beve ra ge  2.13 (9 t yp es)  30   1.49    1.56 (21 t yp es)    1.65       1.17       1.50 (2 selecti ons)       2.00       2.80       1.50       - 14  - Avg Price 1.77  Avg Price 1.73  Bur ge rs  3.10  5  Casserole  5.99  3   3.35    4.99    3.75 (2 selecti ons)    5.49    4.00   Avg Price 5.49  Avg Price 3.59  Pasta  5.49  5  Pizz a    - small  2.75 (2 selecti ons)  5   5.99 (3 t yp es)                - lar ge  2.95 (2 selecti ons)    3.99   - ve get a rian  2.95   Avg Price 5.49  Avg Price 2.87  Wraps  5.99  2  Breakfast  3.55  7   4.99    2.25   Avg Price 5.49   1.99       2.85       1.29       0.99       1.70      Avg Price 2.09     Note: Avg Pri ce = Aver a ge Pric e PS: The selecti ons list ed refle ct the group observ a ti ons at menus of the two food service outl ets. As there ma y be minor chan ges to the av a il able food selecti ons, this onl y serv es to provide a gene ral an al ys is.             


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