New options include swipe exchange, national brands, and to-go options
by McKenna D. Parr ’18
Trinity University is proud to announce a new, five-year dining services agreement with Aramark that will bring an expanded selection of on-campus dining venues, improvements to the commons food court, and additional mobile options to new and renovated facilities across campus.
Aramark was one of four vendors who responded to a request for proposal in December 2017. Its proposal included significant changes to the food service experience on campus, such as extended food service operation hours, long-awaited to-go options, renovation plans to Mabee Hall and its kitchen, the ability to exchange meal swipes at other retail locations on campus for up to $6.50, and the opportunity for faculty and staff to purchase meals from Mabee at a reduced rate.
The University will also implement several new franchises into campus dining, including a Starbucks in Coates Library, a Sandwich Shack in the Center for the Sciences & Innovation (CSI), and a Daily Grind espresso bar and a Steak ’n Shake in Mabee Dining Hall. Mabee will also begin providing an exhibition station and cooking lessons. While Einstein Bros. Bagels, Freshii, and Taco Taco will continue to operate in the Commons food court, Chick-fil-A will be added to the Revolve concept. Additionally, Trinity and Aramark will work together to provide some trending dining options, including the On the Fly mobile food truck and the Tiger Press Juice Bar.
For catering opportunities on campus, the University will approve a list of outside caterers whose services can be used in areas where Aramark will not have exclusive rights to the facility. Aramark will retain exclusivity in Mabee Dining Hall and Coates Student Center, including the Skyline Dining Room.
“The new agreement is designed to be mutually beneficial. It includes annual performance metrics to measure Aramark’s performance in various areas such as customer satisfaction, retail sales growth, and meal plan participation rates,” says Diana Heeren, associate vice president for finance at Trinity. “Aramark has been a dedicated partner of the University for more than 30 years and I am very pleased to continue this partnership.”
Envision Strategies, a national food service consulting firm, conducted a comprehensive study of Trinity’s current dining services and facilities. Using the data obtained in the study, Envision Strategies recommended eight potential vendors to Trinity. Faculty, staff, and students comprised a committee chaired by Paul Wright, director of business operations at Trinity, that reviewed four vendors and conducted an on-campus interview process. The committee determined that Aramark would continue to provide the best services for Mabee Hall, CSI, the Commons, Coates Library, and concessions.
“As the request for proposal had not been a process the University pursued in many years, we felt it was an appropriate time to explore new opportunities and create an improved dining program to better serve students and the campus community,” Wright says. “In reaching our ultimate decision, the committee took an objective approach and did a great job reaching the conclusion that we did.”
Aramark is a food service business comprised of 270,000 team members who serve millions of people in 19 countries. The company currently employs approximately 125 individuals at Trinity. For a look back at the dining services selection process, visit gotu.us/diningRFP.
McKenna D. Parr graduated from Trinity in May 2018 with a degree in business administration concentrating in marketing. She is an intern in Trinity’s Office of Strategic Communications and Marketing who regrets working so diligently to graduate on time, because now she will be unable to enjoy the terms of the aforementioned contract. She can be reached at mparr1 [at] trinity.edu.