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Drew University selects Aramark to revamp dining

Andrew Hudson   ||   Dec 18, 2015  ||   

New Jersey's Drew University is in the throws of renovating its dining hall and upgrading food services on campus. The latest progress made has seen a Dining Task Force complete its proposal reviews and selecting Aramark as its food-service vendor for a contract beginning spring 2016.

According to an official release from Drew University, three vendors were invited to make on-campus presentations and two were selected for final consideration. Following further in-depth analysis of both proposals and a counter proposal, Aramark was selected as the contract winner.

The Dining Task Force charged with making the final decision consisted of undergraduate and graduate students along with staff from key departments across campus including athletics, health services, campus life, advancement and finance. The team examined the proposals of five vendors in total, and as part of the review process, visited facilities at 12 other universities run by those vendors.

Key considerations for Drew's new food services vendor included:

  • Plans for residential dining, catering and retail venues
  • Nutrition and wellness
  • Staffing and personnel
  • Quality assurance
  • Safety and sanitation
  • Financial arrangements and terms
  • Marketing and promotions
  • Creative ideas

According to the university, prior performance was a primary concern in the contract negotiations. Of particular interest for Drew's contract with Aramark is a commitment to remove Drew from the Princeton Review’s ranking list of worst campus food.

Other highlights of the contract include:

  • Revised, more flexible meal plan options.
  • A to-go box option in the on-campus dining hall.
  • Extended dining hall operating hours.
  • A renovated Java City coffee location that includes a meal exchange program and enhanced retail options.
  • Food trucks on a regular basis that accept dining dollars.
  • Updated vending machines across campus.
  • New branding and communications plan for dining that uses digital signage and social media platforms.
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