February 14, 2018
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
I am writing to announce that Seattle University has decided to move in a new direction and partner with Chartwells for our campus food service. Chartwells will begin its operations at SU on July 1, 2018.
This decision comes after an extensive and inclusive effort involving numerous campus stakeholders. I want to thank the members of the Food Service Provider Selection Committee (listed below) who led this process as well as the students, faculty and staff who provided input at the open forum sessions, in surveys and in other ways.
As the committee members evaluated proposals from potential food service providers, their focus was on three goals: (a) enhancing the student and guest experience; (b) forging a strong relationship with the university; and (c) ensuring a close culture fit and alignment with the campus community. With input from the campus community, the committee determined that Chartwells was the food service provider that best addressed those objectives.
You will be hearing more about our transition to Chartwells in the coming weeks. For now, let me share some of the ways in which the food service provider plans to enrich our university’s dining services.
Chartwells is committed to enhancing the dining experience and reducing wait times through creative approaches to space as well as new services such as mobile ordering and self-checkout. In response to the committee’s emphasis on affordability, Chartwells will offer a 10 percent discount for students, faculty and staff who use meal plans.
Recognizing that the campus dining experience, at its best, is about students, faculty and staff breaking bread together, the food service provider is equally committed to creating spaces that help foster a heightened sense of community at SU.
To ensure a student-centric approach, Chartwells intends to actively engage students in developing menu options and in enhancing other aspects of the SU dining experience. Focus groups and other opportunities for providing feedback will be offered. Chartwells is also looking forward to offering educational opportunities, such as a teaching kitchen program as well as internships through which students can learn about various aspects of food service.
Likewise, staff members who utilize catering services will be invited to share input to help inform and develop Chartwells’ catering program at SU.
We are pleased that Chartwells understands that hourly food services employees currently working on campus are a valuable part of the Seattle University community. Chartwells has stated that existing employees would be given every opportunity to continue in their positions.
Chartwells is also committed to making significant new investments in our dining facilities. These will be geared to decrease wait times (particularly at Cherry Street and The Bottom Line) and provide new options and more variety throughout the campus. You will see some of these improvements taking shape right away this fall, as well as substantial improvements over the next few years.
As Chartwells and our current food service provider Bon Appétit are subsidiaries of the same company, we expect a continuation of the commitments and practices that are critical to who we are as a Jesuit institution.
Chartwells will work closely with the university in such areas as sustainability, wellness and health promotion, community engagement and inclusive excellence. Their alignment with our values will be seen in such examples as their sourcing of local foods, addressing the needs of those with food allergies and supporting students who are struggling with food insecurity issues.
A number of open forum sessions, as follows, will be held in the coming weeks at which students, faculty and staff will have the opportunity to be introduced to representatives from Chartwells and hear more about the company’s plans to enhance the dining services at Seattle University.
As we work to ensure a smooth transition in the coming months between the two sister companies, I want to thank Bon Appétit for their collaboration over the years and particularly their commitment to serving our campus community and supporting our values.
On this website you will find additional information, including a list of FAQs and a form for providing feedback. You can also send input to SUDiningServices@seattleu.edu.
Constance R. Kanter
Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President for Finance and Business Affairs