Thank you for your interest in using the NACUFS Customer Satisfaction Benchmarking Survey.  We are confident you will find this service to be a valuable tool in terms of ensuring that your dining operations meet or exceed your customers' expectations. 

For the nineteenth consecutive year, this survey is being conducted on behalf of NACUFS by Industry Insights (II), an independent research firm. Your institution's completed surveys will go directly to Industry Insights - neither NACUFS nor any other institution or organization will ever see your survey results. Only aggregated results will be reported by Industry Insights to NACUFS and participating institutions.



Your order must be placed and your $500 deposit must be received by NACUFS by September 17, 2018
Please conduct your survey between October 19 and November 21, 2018
All questionnaires must arrive at Industry Insights by November 30, 2018*
Reports will be sent to participants in late January, 2019

* Paper questionnaires received after this date will be subject to an additional processing fee of $250.



    At the request of members who wanted quicker access to the survey results, and as part of our continuing efforts to ensure that the NACUFS Customer Satisfaction Survey is as useful as possible, we are again offering a tool for accessing the online survey results in real-time. Click here to learn more about this valuable NACUFS member service.

    The survey form asks two questions about this important topic. (See sample form below.)

    The survey captures both satisfaction and importance ratings, thus enabling users of the survey data to analyze the gaps between satisfaction with a particular item and the item's importance. This "Gap Analysis" will help your school's decision makers pinpoint areas that might require managerial action.

    For example, "Variety of healthy menu choices" may have received a low satisfaction rating, but if it also rated low in terms of importance, no action may be warranted. However, if "Variety of healthy menu choices" scored low in terms of satisfaction but was thought to be a very important item, further action may be required.

    Your summary report will be designed to help you analyze these satisfaction/importance gaps.

    The form now asks three questions to guage how important the campus dining experience is to students in terms of their decision to attend the school and also their academic success.


    Participating institutions can administer their survey entirely online.

    Doing so will have several advantages over the traditional paper survey forms...

    Cost savings: Historically, most participating institutions spent a substantial amount on the printing, shipping and scanning of their paper survey forms. This cost would be entirely eliminated for schools using online data collection. An additional cost that could be eliminated would be the use of paid staff or student volunteers to hand out the survey forms. For many schools, this would not be necessary, as a link to the survey website could simply be e-mailed to the students, staff and faculty. In the past, the printing, scanning and shipping costs institutions paid were often greater than the fees they paid to utilize the service itself.

    Ease of use: The entire survey process, from the distribution of the forms, to the completion of the forms by the respondents, to the collection of the forms and the returning of data to Industry Insights would be greatly simplified by utilizing the online survey process. The analysis of open-ended comments would be easier as well, since the comments would be sent to the participating institutions in an electronic format, as opposed to the paper forms that schools have had to read through and/or type out in the past.

    Flexibility: Utilizing the online survey option would allow participating institutions to add up to three customized questions to their survey, thus improving its usefulness as a management tool. Further, real-time survey respondent counts allow schools to monitor their participation levels and focus their marketing efforts on any locations where response levels were lagging.

    Image: These days, most member institutions are trying to stay up to date in terms of technology and its applications, and the students, staff and faculty have come to expect as much. Conducting the survey online offers not only the practical benefits listed above, but also the more intangible benefit of portraying the schools as being on the cutting edge. Today's students are used to, and in fact have come to expect, electronic communications instead of paper and pen.


    How the online survey process works

    First, fill out the online order form. This will provide Industry Insights with the information needed to determine sample sizes and to customize your online survey with a dropdown menu listing your institution's specific locations to be rated.

    Industry Insights will then e-mail you a list of unique identifiers based on the number of students + staff + faculty you indicate on your order form. NOTE: Each individual survey participant will need their own unique identifier from this list. The first three digits of the identifier will be used to identify your institution, while the remaining alpha-numeric characters are unique to each individual survey participant. The identifiers will allow survey participants to access your survey form online.

    Your institution would then be responsible for distributing the assigned unique identifiers to its students, staff and faculty and for directing these potential respondents to the survey website. This can be done via e-mail, or, if e-mail is not a viable option due to confidentiality or technology issues, the assigned identifiers could be distributed via a postcard containing the survey website address. Industry Insights will provide sample text that your school can use for this email if you so choose.

    Also, if desired, Industry Insights can conduct your e-mail for you, including customizing each e-mail with the corresponding unique identifier. Simply send your database of e-mail addresses to skretzer@indins.com. The fee for this service is $175 for up to 5,000 e-mails, plus $10 per each additional 1,000 e-mails.

    The survey respondent would then visit the NACUFS survey website gateway and enter their unique identifier. Based on this identifier, the respondent would automatically be sent to the survey site for your institution. Once there, the respondent would choose from a dropdown list the all you care to eat dining facility (residential dining hall) or retail unit on your campus that they wish to rate. Upon completion of the survey form for that all you care to eat dining facility (residential dining hall) or retail unit, the respondent would then be given the opportunity to rate another location if desired.

    Your institution will have the option of adding up to three questions of your choice to the end of the survey form. This will allow you to increase the value of your survey by addressing issues that are relevant to your campus. A fee of $475 would be charged for this service to cover added programming expenses. (Further information about this option will be e-mailed to online survey schools after the order form cut-off date.)


Regardless of the survey methodology (online or paper), the basic fee for this survey is as follows:

Number of Establishments to Be Surveyed
[All You Care to Eat Dining Facility (Residential Dining Hall)/Board
Plan + Retail Units]
Basic Fee
10 or fewer $450
11 to 20 $450 + $275
21 to 30 $450 + $550
31 to 40 $450 + $825

This basic fee includes a final report containing:

  • your survey data displayed in tables and shown by respondent type (student, faculty, etc.), class status, gender, and type of housing (on vs. off campus housing), as well as by individual residential all you care to eat dining facility (residential dining hall), type of retail establishment and individual retail establishment
  • regression analysis that illustrates the key satisfaction drivers
  • aggregate comparative data tables from all schools participating in this project, displayed by NACUFS regions, public vs. private institutions, 2-year vs. 4-year institutions, size of enrollment, respondent type, class status, gender and type of housing.

In addition, for those schools that choose to conduct their survey via paper, there will be a charge of $.06 per questionnaire ordered to cover printing costs, a shipping and handling fee which will vary depending on the number of questionnaires ordered (typically around $25-$50), and $.14 for each completed questionnaire received by Industry Insights (to cover data scanning).

For those schools that choose to conduct their survey online, there will be a $.07 per respondent fee.

A cost comparison between a paper survey and an online survey is shown below for a hypothetical school, "XYZ University," that wishes to survey 10 all you care to eat dining facilities (residential dining halls) and 5 retail units.

Cost Comparison for XYZ University
  Using Paper Forms Using Online Survey
Step 1 XYZ fills out and submits the online order form and sends its deposit (check, purchase order or credit card) to NACUFS for $500. XYZ fills out and submits the online order form and sends its deposit (check, purchase order or credit card) to NACUFS for $500.
Step 2 Based on the information submitted by XYZ, Industry Insights calculates that XYZ needs 10,000 questionnaires. Upon receipt of the $500, II then prints and ships 10,000 questionnaires to XYZ. Upon receipt of the $500 by NACUFS, II e-mails a list of unique identifiers to XYZ. (For example, if XYZ indicates it has 10,000 students, staff and faculty, 10,000 unique identifiers would be sent to XYZ.)
Step 3 XYZ distributes and collects its forms at the desired all you care to eat dining facilities (residential dining halls) and retail units over a period of four consecutive days (if possible). XYZ achieves a 22% response rate (2,200 total responses)*.

* Use of participation incentives (coupons, raffles, etc.) can increase response rates. See "Survey Methodology and Report Description" for more details.
XYZ distributes 10,000 unique identifiers to its students, faculty and staff via e-mail. Data is collected over a period of four consecutive days. XYZ achieves a 22% response rate (2,200 total responses)*.

Use of participation incentives (coupons, raffles, etc.) can increase response rates. See "Survey Methodology and Report Description" for more details.
Step 4 XYZ collects, bundles and labels the completed questionnaires from each of its surveyed all you care to eat dining facilities (residential dining halls)/retail units. XYZ then ships the labeled bundles of questionnaires to II by deadline date. Data goes directly to II's secure server as each survey is completed. No work needed by XYZ.
Step 5 II scans the questionnaires, checks the data, and compiles the results. II downloads the survey responses, checks the data, and compiles the results.
Step 6 II mails e-mails XYZ its final report, and NACUFS sends an invoice for $1,183*.

[($725 basic fee for surveying 15 establishments) + (10,000 x $.06 for printing questionnaires) + (2,200 x $.14 for scanning data) + ($50 shipping/handling) - ($500 set-up deposit already paid)] = $1,183

* In the event that a participating institution's final amount due is less than $500, the difference will be refunded to the institution.
II e-mails XYZ its final report, and NACUFS sends an invoice for $379*.

($725 basic fee for surveying 15 establishments) + (2,200 x $.07 per response received) - ($500 set-up deposit already paid) = $379

* In the event that a participating institution's final amount due is less than $500, the difference will be refunded to the institution.


As shown above, in this scenario, XYZ University would save $804 by using the online survey option. Additional savings would likely come from e-mailing the survey link to participants instead of having staff hand out the paper survey forms.


Click here for a more detailed look at the survey methodology, final report and the process to distribute your questionnaires.

Click here to view a sample copy of the paper questionnaire.
             (In order to view the paper questionnaire, you must have Adobe® Acrobat® Reader™. )

Click here to view sample of the online survey form.
             When you get to the survey, enter a code between 88800001 and 88801000. You should see the following text...


Customer Satisfaction Survey - Begin Survey
Sample University


Please take a few moments to share your opinions about the food service at this campus facility. Your thoughtful and candid responses will help your institution serve you better. To preserve the confidentiality of your responses, your identity will not be shared with anyone other than select personnel at the independent research firm overseeing this survey.


If you do not see the above text, the number you chose may have already been used by someone else who wanted to review the sample survey. Simply pick another number within the above range and try again.

Click below if you wish to utilize this valuable member service and go to the online order form.

Order Form

Please address any questions you may have regarding this survey to Steve Kretzer of Industry Insights. (email skretzer@indins.com or 614-389-2100 x106).  
You may also contact Shannon McLaughlin of NACUFS (email SMcLaughlin@nacufs.org or 517.332.3575).

Copyright © 2018 The National Association of College & University Food Services. All rights reserved. These WebPages may not be copied, reproduced, stored, or transmitted, in whole or in part, in any manner or format, without the prior written permission of The National Association of College & University Food Services.
The National Association of College & University Food Services
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© 2018 Industry Insights, Inc.