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Thesis (M.S.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1971. Department of Food and Nutrition.


Copyright 1971, the author. Used by permission.


A comparison was made between the a la carte system of handling meal charges and the contract system in a college food service as relates to the actual cost to the student, student evaluation of the quality, quantity, and the cost of food consumed, management evaluation of similar factors, and nutrient intake of students.

The food service director was interviewed. The purpose of this interview was to obtain some facts and some opinions on the operation of the contract system. Questions were asked as to changes which were made with the adoption of the contract system with regard to menu, restriction of certain menu items, and elimination of other items.Data on the financial operation of the food service under both systems was also obtained.

A three day record of food intake of students under each system was obtained to show whether one system was superior to the other in providing for the nutrient needs of students. It was also of interest to determine how the average contribution by the food service to the total nutrient intake of the student compared to the contribution of food obtained from other sources.Since it was virtually impossible to compare nutrient intake of the same students under both systems, a college with students of similar background, presently using the a la carte system, was chosen in which to conduct the comparison.

Based on the results of the study, the conclusion is that since the contract system does cost the student more, is less flexible than the a la carte system, and results in decreased satisfaction among the students, and that a significant difference was not demonstrated in nutrient intake between the two systems, it would be worthwhile for management to give thought to adopting the a la carte plan.

Advisor: Marie E. Knickrehm