Customer Satisfaction Survey

NACUFS CSBS Summary of the Process


2023 Customer Satisfaction Benchmarking Survey©

SPECIAL NOTE:   In 2020, the annual NACUFS Customer Satisfaction Benchmarking Survey was modified as follows:
  1. The survey will be conducted entirely online, and in order to provide members with managerially actionable results as quickly as possible, final reports and online data analysis tools will be available sooner than in prior years.
  2. Access to Real-time Results will be granted to all participating institutions.
  3. The online survey form and Real-time Results were completely revamped in 2020 in terms of both appearance and functionality to make them more user friendly.
Both NACUFS and Industry Insights hope these modifications will assist members schools in meeting the unique challenges they currently face.


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 23rd 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 fee must be received by NACUFS by September 22*
Please conduct your survey between October 16 and November 22
Reports will be sent to participants in early January, 2024
* A late fee will be charged on all orders submitted after September 22nd



    To provide members with "live" 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.

    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 asks three questions to gauge 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 traditional paper survey forms...

    Cost savings: The cost of printing, shipping and scanning paper survey forms will be entirely eliminated, as will be the use of paid staff or student volunteers to hand out survey forms.

    Ease of use: Today's students are used to, and in fact have come to expect, electronic communications. The entire survey process, is greatly simplified by utilizing the online survey. The analysis of open-ended comments is easier as well, since the comments will be available to the participating institutions in an electronic format.

    Flexibility: Utilizing the online survey option allows 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 are lagging.


    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 make available to 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 [email protected]. The fee for this service is $250 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.


Base fees are determined by the number of locations surveyed. This does not include any additional services you have the opportunity to order directly from Industry Insights.

Number of establishments surveyed Base fee
10 or fewer $650
11 to 20 $975
21 to 30 $1,350
31 or more $1,750

For example: if you wish to survey 10 establishments on your campus, you would pay $650 to NACUFS when you register to participate in the survey.
This fee is non-refundable.

This 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.
  • access to Real-time Results

A sample scenario 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 for a total of 15 establishments.

Overview of Survey Process for XYZ University
  Using Online Survey
Step 1 XYZ fills out and submits the online order form and sends its fee (check, purchase order or credit card) to NACUFS for $975.
Step 2 Upon receipt of the $975 by NACUFS, II e-mails a list of unique identifiers to XYZ. (For example, if XYZ indicates it has a sufficient number of students, staff and faculty, 10,000 unique identifiers would be sent to XYZ.)
Step 3 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, giveaways, etc.) can increase response rates. See "Survey Methodology and Report Description" for more details.
Step 4 Data goes directly to II's secure server as each survey is completed. No work needed by XYZ.
Step 5 II downloads the survey responses, checks the data, and compiles the results.
Step 6 II places XYZ's final report in the confidential online Research Portal


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

Click here to see a sample version of the online survey form. (Note: this is just a sample, and does not have the full functionality the actual form will have. For example, the actual form will remove locations from a user's dropdown menu after the user has rated that location, and the Demographics questions will only need to be answered once.)

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 [email protected] (for quickest response) or 380-223-9153).  
You may also contact Jenna Goins of NACUFS (email [email protected] or 517-332-2868).

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