Food for thought: how UAL increased the appetite for campus catering by engaging their student community
After hosting essential student content on Halls Life — the University’s student communication platform powered by CampusLife’s Browzer Engage software — for more than 10 years, in 2022 University of the Arts London (UAL) determined it was time to do the same for their campus catering outlets.
Understanding that food was one of the most important parts of the student journey, the University needed to take a holistic approach to deliver its offerings on a wide scale with significant impact.
As the first university in the UK to receive the ‘Gold Food for Life Catering Mark’ award by the Soil Association across all canteen outlets, the University knew they had so much to offer.
However, with so much to talk about, where do you start?
From driving sales, and increasing footfall, to creating an awareness of sustainability and nutrition that goes beyond university life — UAL provided a combination of quantitative and qualitative goals that required a clear content strategy.
CampusLife and UAL collaborated to create a one-stop spot on their Halls Life platform, which covered all of their catering information. Acting as an extension of the team, we worked together to create a rich suite of dynamic multimedia content backed up by a strategic plan of action..
By helping to build a sense of community through food, we were able to engage students — not only improving revenue in the outlets themselves, but also supporting students in their education and development around food and nutrition. After all, university is a fantastic time for young people to improve their cooking skills and share their favourite dishes with their peers.
In order to meet their goals and achieve year-on-year improvement, we delivered a blend of essential and engaging content with the aim of providing value to both the University and students whilst boosting engagement, including:
✅ Student-led catering outlet tour videos
✅ Weekly menus
✅ Opening times
✅ Food and drink offerings
✅ Student tips
✅ Local food-related activities
✅ Interactive quizzes
Supported by weekly calls with BaxterStorey, UAL’s catering team, CampusLife we’re able to provide proactive and reactive content tailored to the student journey. This way, we were able to highlight key themes specific to certain periods throughout the academic year such as welcome information, homesickness, budgeting, exams etc., keeping all content relevant and easily accessible to the audience.
STATS (From Feb 23 - Oct 23)
The stats achieved below means UAL are able to successfully promote their catering outlets, strengthen the connection between University and students through food, and educate their students with life skills and practices that go much further than the university walls.
Total Page Views
Minutes spent engaging with online content
YouTube video views
These results show that…
🥙 Student interest in food has increased, therefore it is important to meet the demands for this content.
💡 The Halls Life platform creates a better user experience and helps centralise catering information.
📲 Halls Life ensures that students can access relevant and useful content at their fingertips.
For UAL, this means that they are able to successfully promote their catering outlets, strengthen the connection between University and students through food, and educate their students with life skills and practices that go much further than the university walls.
We’re extremely proud of our work with UAL on this project, which continues to this day. And we continually look for ways to grow and innovate, ensuring we stay relevant as student trends and fashions change over time.