New food vendor coming to campus

The University of Lethbridge has reached an agreement with ARAMARK to provide onsite food services on its Lethbridge campus.

The decision to choose ARAMARK as the U of L's food provider was, after a long and inclusive process, finalized at today's Board of Governors meeting.

After conducting a thorough and extensive review of food services on campus, the U of L released a Request for Proposal for campus food services in the summer of 2012. This began the most transformative food services change at the U of L in 30 years.

University of Lethbridge president Mike Mahon says that a high-quality student experience is a critical factor weighed by prospective students when choosing a university. This is especially important for the U of L, as 70 per cent of its students come from outside the Lethbridge area.

"The University of Lethbridge prides itself on the experience it offers its students," says Mahon. "We recognize that food quality is critical to that experience, and we are thrilled that our campus community will be provided with a variety of high-quality food options for the foreseeable future."

The process in choosing a new food vendor included many campus constituency groups, the most critical being students. Students were surveyed, invited to participate in discussion groups and included as members of the final selection committee.

"We have listened to what our students have told us about the importance of food services on campus. It was critical to have them included in the process of choosing a food services provider," says Mahon.

University of Lethbridge Students' Union President Armin Escher says students benefit greatly from a variety of food options, and that he is looking forward to experiencing the transformation of food services at the Lethbridge campus.

"A variety of food options not only adds to the quality of campus life for students, but high-quality offerings are essential for student health and student success," says Escher.

In approving the agreement with ARAMARK, board members focused in part on the link between providing high quality food and the ability of the University to recruit students.

"In order for the University of Lethbridge to continue to flourish as a destination university, food options and the quality of those options are critical. Providing good food to our campus community will attract students to our campus," says board member Kathleen Willms.

ARAMARK is a leader in professional services, providing award-winning food services, facilities management, and uniform and career apparel to health care institutions, universities and school districts, stadiums and arenas, and businesses around the world.

"ARAMARK is proud to partner with the University of Lethbridge to enhance the living and learning environment on campus," says Brian Struthers, Regional Vice President, ARAMARK Canada Higher Education.

"We look forward to serving the entire campus community. In spring 2013, there will be many enhancements made on campus in preparation for the fall semester and beyond. ARAMARK will be investing in the campus community with new dining venues that include a mix of national and proprietary brands."

The U of L's 10-year agreement with ARAMARK commences on May 1, 2013.