July 20, 2012
Over the past 24 months Catering & Food Services has experienced significant changes in personnel and operations.
Since March 2010, Sodexo leadership on campus has changed three times, and there has been numerous and continuing adjustments to their retail, catering and kitchen teams, and several new administrative staff.
These extraordinary circumstances have resulted in great challenges to maintain continuity of operations, achieve stability of customer service, and deliver the highest standards of performance.
In November 2011, the University requested Sodexo to undertake bold and decisive actions to attract and hire experienced leadership, stabilize staff turnover, and resolve all operational issues by June 2012.
Sodexo corporate has invested considerable effort and significant resources into our campus operations, resulting in an improvement in performance, but not fully achieving the high expectations and goals set by both the University community and by Sodexo themselves.
In early 2012, the University undertook to sound the Canadian food services marketplace to seek out options and opportunities to enhance catering and food service on our campus.
The resulting process has indicated there are several positive avenues to move forward with a plan to deliver a new and exciting food service vision for our campus that aligns with our strategic priorities.
The future of catering & food services on our campus must include the ability to deliver consistently high quality performance that exceeds expectations. Our partner will offer good value at competitive prices, fresh & healthy choices from a wide and varied menu, meet individual dietary requirements and preferences, deliver food in a safe and sustainable way, provide world-class catering for groups from 10 to 1000, and must proactively adapt their service model and menu to the changing needs of our University community.
Therefore, the University has decided to invite three world-class food service providers, Aramark, Chartwells, and Sodexo to respond to a Request For Proposal [RFP] for the provision of residence dining plan services, catering services, retail food services [such as Tim Hortons], and snack & vending services. Each of these highly experienced organizations possess considerable experience and expertise in the post-secondary marketplace, and operate hundreds of locations world-wide.
The RFP process will take place through the Fall of 2012, with a decision on the future direction of food services being determined by the first quarter of 2013.
Sodexo continues to invest in our campus and remains fully committed to enhancing food service performance through the coming year while developing their vision for the future.
The process will also involve many of you, through surveys and discussion groups, and will provide critical feedback to enable each of these three organizations to understand our needs and desires, and so develop unique and tailor-made concepts and plans that align with our vision of the future.
Your support and participation is greatly appreciated and will be a key factor in shaping food services on our campus for many years to come.
The next year will certainly be a challenge as we undertake the biggest changes in food services on our campus since 1982.
We thank you for your patience through these past months, and for your continued support in the coming year.