WWU, Aramark Sign New Dining Services Contract

Paul Cocke
Office of University Communications

Western Washington University and Aramark have signed a contract making Aramark Higher Education the new vendor for campus dining services at the university.

The new partnership of Western and Aramark is focused on priorities important to students and to the university on sustainability, healthy nutritious food, local partnerships and significant student involvement – such as opportunities to work in dining services and internships both on-campus and off-, including the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England.

"Aramark, as part of this contract, will be investing in our students and Western’s future in a variety of innovative ways. Western students, in dining committee meetings and in other conversations, have let us know what they’d like to see in Western’s dining services program. This new partnership is responsive to student and university priorities,” said Eileen Coughlin, vice president for Student Affairs.

The new 10-year contract begins Sept. 1, 2011, and continues until Aug. 31, 2021. Aramark will provide dining services at Western’s residential dining halls, catering and retail cafes and markets. 

Highlights of the contract include:

  • Currently employed student workers get first priority to be hired.
  • A Student Management Program.
  • One Western student manager to intern with Aramark’s team operating the Olympic Village in London, England for the 2012 Olympic Games.
  • Summer internships for Western students with Aramark’s premier Washington partnerships such as Olympic National Park and the Washington State Convention Center.
  • A Student Internship Program focusing on sustainable practices, marketing or operations.
  • A commitment to sustainable practices, such as: local food purchases; Western’s 10X12 initiative; Real Foods Challenge goals; recycling, zero waste management and energy conservation.
  • A financial commitment from Aramark to renovate and expand food service facilities.
  • In-kind contributions over 10 years to support the mission and vision of the university.

In May, Aramark was named apparent successful bidder as part of a competitive bid process with a request for proposals (RFP) that was issued in November 2010. The result included proposals from two high-quality national vendors – Aramark and Sodexo, the current vendor for Western’s dining services.

Since May, the university has worked with Aramark on transition planning, such as Aramark meeting with current dining service employees, and final contract development.

New dining venue proposals include a mix of national, proprietary and local brands that will resonate with and engage the student population, including a whole foods-like venue, “Engrained Café,” “Greens to Go” and "Topio's,” an Old World-inspired pizza concept, featuring fresh, organic or locally grown offerings.

More details of dining platforms will be released later this summer following continuing review by campus dining committees.

About Aramark:
             Aramark provides food service and facility management services in 22 countries, including 600 colleges and universities in the United State covering residential and retail dining, conference, catering and concession food services.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011 - 12:17pm