Butler switches food-service vendors in move affecting 200 workers

Butler University has switched vendors for food services on its campus in a move affecting 200 workers in the school's dining halls, athletic concessions and catering operations.

Philadelphia-based Aramark Corp. notified state officials on Friday that it would terminate the 200 employees who work at the university because it was not retained as its food services provider. Aramark's 20-year tenure as Butler's vendor ends May 12.

However, Aramark’s workers have been invited to apply for positions with Palo Alto, California-based Bon Appetit Management Co., which has been awarded the Butler contract.

"As much as possible, we like to keep existing staff," Bon Appetit District Manager Jason Rose told IBJ in an email. "They have important institutional knowledge to share, and of course they know the student population really well. All of Butler Dining’s eligible food service employees (who pass our background screening) are encouraged to apply."

Prior to the switch, Butler conducted a nearly year-long study of all aspects of its dining program, according to an announcement made to the university community last month by Frank Ross, Butler’s vice president for student affairs.

“It became clear that obtaining a new dining contract through a competitive bid process was essential," Ross said.

The school received responses from 11 vendors. It chose Bon Appetit based on the quality of its food, Ross said.

“They bring a commitment to fresh produce, whole grains, and lean and plant-based proteins. Their meals are cooked from scratch, and ingredients are sourced from small, owner-operated farms and fisheries, as often as possible,” he said.

Founded in 1987, Bon Appetit offers food-service management to corporations, universities, museums, and specialty venues, including more than 100 education clients.

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