UBC Undergraduate Research

Palate review Lai, Oscar; Lau, Mauricio; Zhao, Yiling; Liang, Karen; Worthington, Michael

Abstract

First opened in 2015, the AMS Nest is a student-focused hub with a dual mandate of being both fiscally responsible while meeting the needs of UBC students. The Nest currently offers a variety of activities and services for students to eat, study, and socialize. In this report, we will focus on a relatively new entrant within its food offerings – the Palate. Situated in a prime location that intersects both students in the Nest and those walking around it, the specialty sandwich store has the enormous potential to become the go-to-place for UBC students. Our analysis started with us interviewing UBC students within the Nest, and we found that student decisions on where to eat ultimately came down to three main considerations. Firstly, price has proven to be a key factor in the decision making of students – the primary target for restaurants in the AMS Nest – which has driven students to various alternatives around the Nest which deliver food at a seemingly more reasonable price point. Secondly, convenience in terms of location, space, and seating, has proven to be an important part of choosing where to purchase food – we’ve found that areas that have more space surrounding it, or space for sit-down meals, have encouraged customer visits. Lastly, variety of offered products. Currently, Palate’s offerings are less varied than that of some of their more popular competition, leading us to believe that, based on the primary research, students are driven by variety of choice as well. As part of our analysis, we recommend Palate to undertake several operational changes starting with opening up a door along its curved windows. This will allow us to expand the preparation area and let us add an additional employee during peak hour to address an existing bottleneck. We will also undertake a small but on-going marketing effort to spread awareness of the store and its price advantages. Taking into account these considerations, we believe that the proposal will generate positive income as early as 2018. The main limitation of this report is forecasting revenue and salary expectations with incomplete data, as well as relying on a small sample size for our analysis which may be incomplete or not representative of the overall student body. 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.”

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