After a search that involved students and members of the campus community, The College of Saint Rose has selected Sodexo as its new food service partner.
Sodexo has 17 university partnerships in New York, including the University at Albany, Marist, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. It will take over food service operations after the students leave for the semester break next week to prepare to serve the College’s students and employees when they return to campus for the spring semester.
With a focus on culinary creativity, sustainability, health and wellness, and diversity and inclusion, Sodexo also seeks to increase students’ input in food service operations. The company will host a Zoom session (Passcode: 831709) for students on Thursday, November 19, at 6 p.m. to gather feedback in order to finalize concepts for the Camelot Room and food stations for the dining hall. Sodexo representatives will host a Facebook Live with students’ families in early December.
“I am so excited that Sodexo has been chosen as the dining partner for Saint Rose,” said Tim MacTurk, district manager for Sodexo. “Our approach to building a successful dining program begins with the student voice. We know the importance, now more than ever, of dining being fully integrated with the College in promoting student success and building community. My promise to you is that we will be proactive and communicative to give Golden Knights the dining program they deserve and have fun while doing it.”
For the spring semester, Sodexo will bring new offerings to the existing dining hall, Camelot Room, Lally, and Brubacher spaces. In the summer of 2021, the company will renovate the food service areas to bring new designs and concepts to those spaces. The renovated dining areas will be food-forward, with a focus on scratch-made items, local sourcing, ethnic foods, a strong variety of offerings, and healthy options. Starbucks will continue to operate in the Events and Athletics Center.
In response to concerns from students and their families about food allergens, Sodexo will offer its award-winning Simple Servings platform in the dining hall – a station that is set up to avoid cross-contamination and is gluten-free as well as free of the most common eight allergens, including milk, eggs, wheat, soy, shellfish, peanuts, and tree nuts. Other dining hall stations will be determined with student feedback.
Concepts will shift with the Fall 2021 semester, but for January, the Camelot Room will have more quick-serve, fresh-made salads, sandwiches, heat-and-eat options, and halal and sushi offerings. Quesera! is a Tex-Mex grill specializing in made-to-order quesadillas, and Home of Trending Tastes will rotate popular foods like build-your-own bowls, arepas, and all-day breakfast. Dining options will also be on the move at Saint Rose with a scaled-down electric food truck that can fit through most double doors and serve in a lobby. Students will also help determine the menu for the truck, which is expected to debut by the middle of the spring semester.
Sodexo will also bring to campus access to a dietitian, who will be on campus frequently and available by text and email to set up one-on-one meetings with students; the BITE mobile app with menus, mobile ordering, and a place to provide feedback; new meal plans for Fall 2021; employment opportunities, internships, scholarships, and food scarcity programs for students; and a commitment to diversity in the dining leadership team and a focus on inclusivity in all that they do.
Hours for the spring semester will be posted closer to the start of the spring semester. Dining plan details for Fall 2021 will be announced in the spring, once the feedback from students is reviewed. For the Spring 2021 semester, the meal plans will be the same plans as Fall 2020.
Campus-wide input was critical to the vendor selection process. A committee was formed that included a diversity of students, including student-athletes, commuters, resident students, Resident Assistants (RAs), and graduate students. The committee also had employee representation from finance, residence life, athletics, institutional advancement, and admissions.
The committee reviewed the proposals and interviewed vendors. Sodexo was preferred by a majority of the committee based on food quality; food allergy options; access to a dietician; an emphasis on student engagement for food trends and recommendations for modifications; the ability to communicate about the dining program with students, College employees, and students’ parents; technology and convenience offerings (mobile ordering, a food truck, and a delivery program); flexible hours with a willingness to modify based on student needs; attractive meal plans options and equivalencies; and an emphasis on sustainability, diversity and inclusion, and student employment.
“We are excited to be able to enhance our students’ Saint Rose experience with a company that is focused on meeting students’ needs while providing top-notch food and considering diversity, equity, and inclusion integral to the success of their day-to-day operations,” said Interim President Marcia J. White. “I am eager to grab my lunch in our dining hall and Camelot Room in the spring semester and hear how students are enjoying this change.”
About Sodexo North America: Sodexo North America is part of a global, Fortune 500 company with a presence in 67 countries. Sodexo is a leading provider of integrated food, facilities management and other services that enhance organizational performance, contribute to local communities and improve quality of life for millions of customers in corporate, education, healthcare, senior living, sports and leisure, government, and other environments daily. The company employs 160,000 people at 13,500 sites in all 50 U.S. states and Canada, and indirectly supports tens of thousands of additional jobs through its annual purchases of $17 billion in goods and services from small to large businesses. Sodexo is committed to supporting diversity and inclusion and safety, while upholding the highest standards of corporate responsibility and ethical business conduct.
In support of local communities across the U.S., in 2019, the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation mobilized 37,000 Sodexo volunteers to distribute 3.2 million meals to help 2.3 million children and adults meet their immediate food needs. Since 1996, the Stop Hunger Foundation has contributed nearly $34.5 million to help feed children in America impacted by hunger. To learn more about Sodexo, visit US.Sodexo.com. Connect with them on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.