Texas State and Chartwells officials need to take significant steps to improve sales and combat meager profits at Lyndon’s U Club.
The main thing Chartwells needs to improve upon to see heightened Lyndon’s sales is marketing. Currently, Lyndon’s is tucked away in an inconspicuous corner of The Lair in the LBJ Student Center and is barely noticeable with its subtle facade. Many students are not even aware of the restaurant’s existence, and those who are may have misconceptions that prevent them from trying out the on-campus eatery. Some students still believe Lyndon’s U Club is a faculty-exclusive venue. This idea can be a common belief held over from the days when the restaurant resided in Commons Dining Hall and only served faculty and staff members.
Chartwells needs a more aggressive advertising campaign if it wants Lyndon’s profits to improve. Chartwells could employ many methods to attract more students to Lyndon’s. One such method is placing pamphlets and posters describing the venue’s menu in other popular dining halls within plain sight of hungry students. Chartwells could make the entrance clearer and more welcoming to help entice students into the restaurant.
The problem is many students are looking for food they can grab quickly in between classes and meals they can buy quickly with a swipe. Students often have excess meal trades at the end of the year, and many actively look for fast ways to use up these extra swipes. Although Lyndon’s U Club accepts dining dollars, which come with the standard meal plans, students usually use these up quickly. Many students may not be willing to spend a large portion of dining dollars at once.
The restaurant accepts Bobcat Bucks, but these do not come with the standard meal plans. Therefore, many students do not use Bobcat Bucks regularly. One way Lyndon’s could bring in more traffic is to accept meal trades as payment for a sit-down dinner at the venue. To sweeten the deal for Chartwells, Lyndon’s could remain a more formal venue while still accepting meal trades. For example, a meal at Lyndon’s could cost students several meal trades instead of one.
According to a Jan. 22 University Star article, Fridays are the lowest profit days for Lyndon’s U Club, with the restaurant oftentimes making less than $100 on that day. Chartwells could potentially close the venue during low traffic days and hours to help save money. If business fails to pick up within the next few semesters, Chartwells should consider moving Lyndon’s to a new location or potentially integrating a more grab-and-go buffet style to the venue.
Chartwells needs to quickly employ money-saving and awareness-raising tactics when looking to compensate for Lyndon’s lackluster profit margin. The eatery could end up closing down or reverting it to its former state as a faculty-exclusive outlet if these initiatives are not carried out efficiently.