The University of New Mexico went about selecting a food services vendor for its athletics facilities a bit differently than usual. Rather than soliciting bids via an RFP process for the eight-year athletics concessions contract, the university instead opted for Chicago-based Levy Restaurants, a sister company to current campus food service provider Chartwells.
According to a report from the Albuquerque Journal, UNM’s last athletics concessions contract was penned eight years ago with Sodexo as a result of a specialized RFP for athletics. But this time UNM athletics opted against putting the contract out to bid and instead exercised a provision in UNM’s larger campus-wide contract to allow athletics to negotiate with the vendor for expanding food services to sports facilities.
UNM’s campus-wide food-service RFP generated three bids when it was released in 2015: Aramark, Compass Group and Sodexo. University officials say that negotiating with Levy as part of a larger contract was seen as a cost-effective option, but had that not been the case athletics would likely have gone out to bid separately as it had previously.
As part of the new partnership, Levy will handle premium dining, concessions and catering operations across the university’s athletic venues beginning July 1, replacing previous provider Sodexo. Levy will also handle sales of beer during football games, a first for UNM.
According to the Albuquerque Journal report, Levy will pay UNM a percentage of sales, give UNM a $100,000 gift-in-kind each year of the agreement and UNM will receive a $750,000 signing bonus.