University offers Aramark one more year

The University has no immediate plans to stop using a food service provider in J Street once Aramark’s contract expires in June, officials said.

Robert Chernak, senior vice president for Student and Academic Support Services, said GW offered Aramark a one-year renewal so “both parties can meet their objectives.”

Doug Warner, an Aramark spokesman, said “of course” Aramark wants to return to GW, and he is hopeful that GW and Aramark will reach a resolution. He declined to comment on negotiations, which he said are currently underway.

Aramark saw a 30 percent profit loss this year because of competition from off-campus venues taking Colonial Cash and has cut back hours at some of its venues and closed some shops.

“There’s no doubt that business has decreased significantly,” Warner said. “(We’ll) continue to work to identify the needs of students.”

He said Wednesday that students would not see more hour reductions or new shops on campus by the end of the semester.

The Hall on Virginia Avenue diner shortened its hours, and Aramark replaced Fan Fare with Montague’s Deli this fall. The Crepeaway also opened this spring.

Eric Hougen, project manager for the Office of Business and Operations, said if the University does not renew its contract with Aramark, GW will look for another food service provider in J Street.

However, officials said GW will not offer Aramark’s services in the Ivory Tower next year. Chernak said GW will lease space in Ivory Tower to independent food providers, including a supermarket-like venue.

“Review of the Colonial Cash traffic data indicates that some students prefer to eat at certain … venues found off campus,” Hougen said.

Kaz Sushi Bistro and Malaysia Kopitiam currently operate independently in J Street.

Hougen said he could not comment on which venues will be in the Ivory Tower.

A Subway will also open in 1957 E Street within the next two months, and GW recently signed a contract for a Starbucks in 1957 E Street.

Chernak said while he understands why Aramark reduced hours, Colonial Cash is here to stay because “students like it.”

“(W)e obviously don’t want to engage in … deterioration of our service to our students solely to accommodate Aramark’s bottom line,” he said.

-Julie Gordon contributed to this report.

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