Fordham University is in the process of transitioning from previous food service vendor Sodexo to Aramark and is navigating some of the common growing pains associated with a move to a new vendor.
The decision to move to Aramark followed a lengthy RFP process, which according to university officials, was delayed in part by an increased campus dialogue on the fair treatment of workers. Per a report from The Fordham Ram, the importance of the issue grew more apparent throughout the RFP process, and ultimately the university’s comfortability with Aramark and its willingness to protect employees was crucial in the final decision process.
Fordham officially announced Aramark as its next food-service provider in April after a nearly five-month bidding process, which included previous provider Sodexo, Compass Group, Aramark and CulinArt Group.
As part of the transition, Sodexo-run retail locations on Fordham’s campus will leave campus once the food service provider’s contract end in June 2016, according to Deming Yaun, dining services liaison at Fordham. The transition will see the current Sodexo locations locations replaced with Aramark concepts, and all changes to existing Sodexo brands at Fordham must be completed this summer. University officials say that while these locations and brands will change the format will remain familiar and popular menu items will remain very similar.
Also part of the contract, food service workers will receive new training from Aramark in food preparation and customer service and other areas. University officials say that there will also be an on-sight transition team, on-site operations team and a team at Aramark headquarters assigned to Fordham that will further support the transition.
Another consideration in the transition is the university’s meal plan structure. While there will be no changes to current meal plans in the coming year, dining services will be working with campus IT to convert the existing voluntary declining balance funds to an Aramark equivalent system.