CMU chooses new campus dining services provider

Chartwells to provide more diverse food options beginning July 2021

| Author: Heather Smith

A new vendor will provide campus dining and food service starting next summer.

Central Michigan University has signed a 10-year contract with Chartwells to replace current vendor Aramark, effective July 1, 2021. The contract includes CMU residential restaurants and retail food sales on campus, as well as food service for certain off-campus activities. Chartwells also will become CMU's preferred campus catering provider.

Chartwells, a division of Compass Group North America, specializes in food service, hospitality and guest services for higher education.

Cal Seelye, executive director of CMU Auxiliary Services, said patrons can expect more diverse food options.

He said Chartwells reviewed a CMU campus life master plan to explore gaps in current offerings and whether meal plans fit student needs. The company also is working with local food vendors about possibly locating on campus.

Selecting a new campus dining partner

Seelye said CMU has been pleased with Aramark but issued a request for proposals for dining and food services at Aramark's request when it proposed a contract extension in 2019. Aramark and Chartwells were the two providers that responded to the RFP. A 10-member committee recommended Chartwells after an interview and selection process.

"We asked vendors to tie to their proposal to a CMU Strategic Plan imperative," Seelye said. "For example, the 'nurturing student success' imperative ties directly to providing high-quality meals to students to better prepare them for academic success, along with providing student employment opportunities."

The CMU Board of Trustees authorized President Bob Davies to sign the new contract, which extends through June 30, 2031, with one-year renewal options thereafter.

As part of the agreement, Chartwells also will supply the following for CMU:

  • Catering at Courtyard by Marriott Mount Pleasant at CMU, 2400 East Campus Drive.
  • Meals for PACE Central Michigan off-campus elder care facility, 1750 E. Bellows St.
  • Meals for CMU's Child Development and Learning Lab in the Education and Human Services Building.
  • Food service for events on the CMU College of Medicine's Saginaw campus.

To ensure a smooth transition, Chartwells will conduct meetings for the current dining team to learn more about the company, opportunities and the application process.

Current Campus Dining employees may apply for positions with Chartwells that best fit their skill sets, pending successful background checks. All dining positions will be posted online.

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