The University of West Georgia (UWG) will not renew its contract with food service provider Aramark for the 2016-2017 academic year. Aramark currently provides all food products for the campus, including the dining halls, Wolves’ Den food court, Starbucks and campus vending machines.
“[UWG] has a year-to-year contract, and we have chosen not to renew the contract,” said Jim Sutherland, senior vice president of business and finance at UWG. “We want to manage our own food service program and not use an outside contractor.”
On June 30, 2016, the contract will officially end and UWG will assume all food service roles for the campus. By not using a food service contractor, UWG will be able to completely control all aspect of food service on campus. This change should not include the closing or shutting down of any of the food operations or restaurants on campus.
The school is currently reaching out to the franchise businesses on campus, such as Chick-fil-A and Starbucks, to ensure they will still be able to carry these “brand name” vendors.
Aramark currently employs all food service employees on campus. When the contract ends in June, the employees will have the option to reapply for their positions, but now under UWG student employment.
“The university wants to have the opportunity for these employees to interview for their positions,” said Sutherland. “Any possibility to retain employees is an opportunity we as a university would like.”
The university has also held meetings with the majority of Aramark employees to alert them of this shift and give them information on how to apply once under new management.
Once all these changes have been made, Sutherland hopes the food service program will achieve a “high level of excellence” among the student and faculty. Sutherland did not say if this change would positively or negatively impact the finances involved with food service on campus.
“The school feels that this decision is in the best interest of keeping with the UWG vision statement to be the best comprehensive university in America.”