For 2018-19, Chartwells has committed to hold meal plan prices at the current levels.
Your campus cards will be not be affected. SU and Chartwells staff will begin transition planning next week to ensure that – even for those students that are here over the summer – there will be no glitches in campus card use.
The selection team visited seven different universities to sample the food and evaluate the overall dining experience; three of those locations were operated by Chartwells. We ate some really great food at the Chartwells locations. We are confident that they can deliver on the quality – not just in flavor, but in the entire dining experience.
The biggest needs on campus are at Cherry Street and The Bottom Line. At Cherry Street, Chartwells’ big idea is to move a few food concepts outside the gate. This will address two major issues: one, it reduces crowding in the area inside the gate, and, two, it allows the concepts to operate at different hours. That means that a couple concepts will remain open during 2-5pm and later at night. At The Bottom Line, we hope to expand the venue so that it can serve more customers quicker, have more options, perhaps even including a self-checkout grab-and-go market. Chartwells also has some great ideas for The Cave, Hawk’s Nest, and perhaps some new venues. We expect to get working on design of some of these ideas right away, but will spend time getting student input over the next year on the major changes.
Yes – Chartwells will be offering four paid internships for SU students to get a chance for real-world experience in the food service business. These internships will focus on business, marketing, and sustainability. Chartwells will be providing more information on these in the coming months.
Chartwells will maintain many of the same sustainability practices related to sustainability, including waste diversion, food recovery, water and energy reduction, among others. They have committed to at least 23% local purchasing in the first year, and increasing that percentage every year.
Yes, Chartwells has experience developing programs to address food insecurity at many of its other universities and looks forward to collaborating with SU to develop the solution that works best here.
Bon Appetit employees will have every opportunity to stay on with Chartwells. As both companies are subsidiaries of the same parent company, the transition is expected to be relatively smooth.
Chartwells will hire student employees in much the same way as Bon Appetit did.
RFP stands for Request-for-Proposals – it is a commonly used process to select a service provider, whether that is in food service, construction, design, or any other service business, particularly when the selection will be based on a complex combination of factors. See more about our selection process, below.
Bon Appetit’s contract for dining services at SU was nearing its end, so it was time to either re-sign for an extension, or go out to an open RFP process. We felt that we would get valuable insights from a variety of perspectives, as well as the best experience and financial deal for the students, by going out to an RFP. We also knew that we needed to make a lot of facilities upgrades. By doing this RFP process now, we are assured we have the right company on board to collaboratively make decisions about the renovations, and get started on those renovations ASAP.
SU developed a list of the six FSPs that have experience in higher education food service at colleges and universities in the Pacific Northwest. We invited each to participate in the RFP process. We received five proposals, and selected Bon Appetit, Chartwells, and Sodexo to give on-campus presentations back in November.
We had the interested FSPs tour the campus in May 2017 to see the dining venues and familiarize themselves with the campus community. We then sent them the RFP in August. While the FSPs were developing their proposals, they had a chance for a second campus tour as well as a meeting with members of the Residence Hall Association leadership. Finalists were selected after proposals were received in October, who then presented to the campus community during a series of open forums in late November. Based on the criteria in the RFP as well as the feedback we received from the campus, the selection committee recommended Chartwells. The Cabinet approved this recommendation in late January. Transition planning is already underway with the new contract beginning on July 1, 2018.
The selection committee was charged with finding a food service provider that demonstrated a plan for a great student experience, a strong business relationship, and a company that meshed with our culture and values. On the student experience front, we looked at wait times, menus, variety, hours, food quality, service, affordability, and many other things that go into a high quality dining experience. For the business relationship criteria, we looked for a company that had a smart plan for facilities upgrades, and a company that would value the existing food service employees as part of the SU community. On culture, we looked for a company that valued sustainability and social justice, had a commitment to local purchasing, demonstrated a spirit of innovation, and a strong drive to succeed.