April 6, 2016

U of L announces new dining partner

By Olivia Krauth–

U of L will begin working with Aramark this fall, replacing Sodexo as the campus dining partner.

A release from U of L said the new partnership will allow for extended hours, new dining options and revised meal plan options. U of L Spokesperson John Drees said the contract is in the final stages, and no further details will be announced until the signing.

“Although the details are not final, we are optimistic our students will be pleased with the new food service operations,” Drees said. “Aramark will continue to offer most of the current favorites and will introduce several new high-quality venues including full-service, fast food and grab-and-go options.”

“This partnership will transform the U of L dining experience and ensure high-quality, reasonably priced food options to accommodate the needs of our students, faculty and staff,” President James Ramsey said in a press release.

“We look forward to helping the university continue its campus transformation by enhancing the living and learning experience and environment for students, faculty, staff and visitors,” Mark Nelson, president of Aramark’s Higher Education division, said in the release.

The release said Aramark will have immediate changes in the fall, as well as throughout the SAC renovations, set to be done by fall 2018.

Sodexo became U of L’s dining partner in 2008, taking the title from Chartwell’s. Sodexo’s contract was set to end June 2018. Drees said there was an out clause in the Sodexo contract, giving both parties the option to end the contract with 120 days notice. Drees could not comment on any possible associated buy-out costs.

Last spring, Sodexo and U of L renegotiated their contract, with Sodexo saying the original contract did not allow them to raise meal plan prices due to inflation. After months of SGA meetings, meal plan prices increased, and students were allowed to submit a wish list of desired changes to campus dining. Changes this academic year include late-night hours at the Ville Grill and the introduction of food trucks on campus, which students can use flex at.

Sodexo’s image on campus has been recently marred due to a string of C ratings at campus restaurants. A week before spring break, five dining options received C ratings. The Ville Grill has seen three C’s in the past four years.


File photo / The Louisville Cardinal

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