AU overhauls campus dining services
By Tori Dalcourt, Eagle Staff Writer
Bon Appétit's contract with AU will not be renewed, according to Chris Moody, assistant vice president for Housing and Dining Programs.
Aramark Higher Education, which currently provides cleaning services to the University, will serve as the new dining management provider as of June 1.
AU's Dining Service Project Team, a group of faculty and student representatives from Student Government and the Residence Hall Association, reviewed the University's dining services over the past year.
During this process, the team held three campus-wide open forums to hear from the community about what was important to them in regard to the campus's food services. The team also visited seven other colleges to experience their food services and received proposals from three vendors.
Three factors precipitated the review, according to Moody:
• Last year's project to fill the vacant McDonald's space;
• The Washington College of Law being moved to Tenley Campus;
• The need to reform dining services as part of the Campus Plan.
Dining management shake-up
"It was very reassuring to have a partner [Aramark] who took the time to get to know us, cared about what was important to students, faculty and staff and then designed a program around everything that we wanted and asked for," Moody said.
Most of the dining workers will be able to continue working on campus, but the current management staff will probably not remain here since they work for Bon Appétit, Fiona Erickson, president of RHA and a member of the Project Team, said.
Aramark is working with the current employees to transfer their employment from Bon Appétit to the new company. Representatives from Aramark will be on campus to meet with workers one-on-one to make sure that they are comfortable with the changes, according to Moody.
During the transition in management, workers are re-assessed and retrained, according to Moody. Workers will not experience any interruption to their employment or benefits.
"Many of the employees here have worked here for 20 or 30 years, and they have been through a contract change before," Moody said.
By Steven Murphy, Eagle Staff Writer
Starbucks and a number of new restaurants will replace some of the current food options on campus this fall as a part of a new dining contract between AU and Aramark Higher Education.
Elevation Burger and Bene Pizza and Pasta will replace the Tavern on the first floor of the Mary Graydon Center. Global Fresh Foods, a restaurant that each week offers cuisine from a different part of the world, will replace Salsa, Residence Hall Association President Fiona Erickson said.
Starbucks will take the vacant place left by McDonalds in Bender Tunnel, The Eagle previously reported.
A Sweetgreen will also be added to the first floor of MGC, according to Erickson.
These dining options will be open for longer hours than current eateries on campus, although times have not been finalized, according to Erickson.
Einstein Bagels and Subway will remain on campus in their current locations.
Eagle Express will also remain on the first floor of MGC but Aramark will be offering "POD" (Provisions on Demand) box lunches, instead of Bon Appétit's current take-out lunches, Erickson said.
Students will also be able use meal swipes at these new dining options. This will encourage them to buy bigger meal plans, Erickson said.
"Some students currently have to sign up for the 150 meal plan but then can't use them all by the end of the semester," she said.
AU will also expand the Terrace Dining Room in order to compensate for more students on Main Campus in the coming years, Erickson said. Construction will not take place until 2014.
By Devin Mitchell, Eagle Staff Writer
Aramark will introduce more meal plan exchanges at on-campus dining locations beginning in the fall, according to Residence Hall Association President Fiona Erickson.
Starting in the fall, students can use meal swipes to purchase predetermined food combinations at all locations that will be operating except the new Sweetgreen and Starbucks, Erickson said.
At Einstein Bros. Bagels, for example, students will be able to purchase a bagel and a coffee with a meal swipe.
"You hear a lot of students talk about how they can't use all their meal swipes by the end of the semester," Erickson said. "I think that this will help with that a lot."
An open forum was held to discuss the training, recognition and development of the current dining employees on campus on April 17. Additional forums will be held to address other dining related topics.
• "Future of Vegetarian and Vegan Dining at AU" will be held April 22 at 4 p.m. in the Letts Hall Formal Lounge.
• "Future of Kosher and Halal Dining at AU" will be held April 22 at 5 p.m. in the Letts Hall Formal Lounge.
• "Future of Dining and Catering Services for Faculty/Staff" will be held April 24 at 12 p.m. in the Letts Hall Formal Lounge.
• "Future of Dining Services for Individuals with Dietary Requirements" will be held on April 24 at 1:30 p.m. in the Letts Hall Formal Lounge.