Aramark’s once cozy arrangement with the University may be coming to an end. While the University has offered Aramark a one-year extension on its food service contract, several signals indicate the University will be moving in the direction of providing food service through independent vendors in the long- term future. The University’s decision to exclude Aramark service from the new Ivory Tower residence hall is a clear indication it is indeed taking such steps.
Since the inception of Colonial Cash, Aramark’s ability to turn a profit has been significantly strained. This strain, however, has come with increased benefits for students, who now have an enormous number of eating options available on their GWorld cards.
Allowing independent vendors on campus could mean any number of positives for students. For one, the quality of food options will continue to drastically improve. Corporations operating in an open market would be more responsive to student wants and desires. Independent vendors would also mean an increased quality of dining options for students.
These positives, however, are juxtaposed with several negatives. Ending our relationship with Aramark could result in the loss of jobs for numerous Aramark employees. But this job loss could potentially be offset by the increase in availability of jobs with new vendors.
While the University has not announced what new options will be available in Ivory Towers, The Hatchet has a few suggestions. One excellent option would be an upscale sandwich restaurant such as Panera, Cosi or the Corner Bakery. The University should also consider placing a higher quality Mexican dining option such as Chipotle or Baja Fresh in the new dining hall. The administration could also upgrade choices in the fast food department. A couple of excellent choices would be a Wendy’s or Johnny Rockets. The University should also look into adding a 24-hour breakfast option such as International House of Pancakes.
The addition to a vendor-style dining service could be a positive development for students. In order to maximize the benefit, the University should reach out to students in the decision making process through surveys. The administration could then easily avoid another Fan Fare faux pas.