New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

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Aramark Will Not Be NYU’s Dining Service Provider After July, Employees Say

The controversial food service provider’s contract has not been renewed, according to multiple employees of the company.
An+Aramark+truck+in+Tampa%2C+Fla.+NYU+will+not+renew+its+contract+with+Aramark%2C+according+to+multiple+NYU+Dining+employees.+%28Photo+by+Sam+Klein%29
Sam Klein
An Aramark truck in Tampa, Fla. NYU will not renew its contract with Aramark, according to multiple NYU Dining employees. (Photo by Sam Klein)

Aramark — NYU’s current food service provider — will not have its contract renewed, according to multiple NYU Dining employees who were notified by their managers over the last few days. The three employees that confirmed this information to WSN spoke under the condition of anonymity out of concern for their job security.

This leaves Compass Group USA as the sole contender for the university’s dining contract.

The transition may bring changes to meal plans, dining halls and the employment status of current NYU Dining employees, who are contracted by Aramark.

The company’s contract with the university was set to expire in 2023, but after Lipton Dining Hall received a C health inspection grade in fall 2017, the university initiated a bidding process. The contenders were Aramark, Compass Group, Sodexo and AVI Foodsystems, but Sodexo dropped out of the process in September and AVI Foodsystems dropped out in October. Aramark, Compass Group and Sodexo are the three largest food service providers in the U.S.

Aramark, originally named ARA, was first contracted by NYU in 1976, and has come under fire in recent years for a laundry list of issues: in fall 2017, Lipton failed an inspection from the New York City Department of Health for multiple health code violations, including rat droppings. Lipton’s dining hall manager was fired following the incident. In spring 2018, Downstein served a racially stereotyped menu during Black History Month after which two managers were fired.

Additionally, student activists — spearheaded by the Incarceration to Education Coalition — have continuously protested the company’s ties to the prison-industrial complex. In December, the IEC led a 155-hour long occupation at Bobst Library and later the Kimmel Center for University Life to protest Aramark and the university’s bidding process for a new food service provider.

In the final stages of the bidding process, the remaining challenger against Aramark was Compass Group, which is now presumed to be the chosen food service provider for the new dining contract. However, students who protested Aramark in the past have also protested Compass Group for similar reasons — namely, because the food service provider has relations with prisons in Canada. Student activists have advocated for NYU to self-provide its dining services, like schools such as Yale University do, instead of contracting a company. Self-providing was supported in a resolution passed by the Student Government Assembly in the fall.

NYU declined to comment in an email to WSN. Aramark did not respond to a request for comment at the time of publication.

Email Meghna Maharishi and Victor Porcelli at [email protected].

About the Contributors
Meghna Maharishi, News Editor
Meghna Maharishi is a first-year in LS planning to major in Politics. As someone who’s lived in New Jersey her whole life, she will probably try to convince you that it’s not that terrible. In the rare event she’s not in the office reporting and writing, you can find her probably buying overpriced coffee, browsing through record stores or endlessly watching Bon Appetit videos on YouTube.
Victor Porcelli, News Editor
Victor Porcelli is a junior studying Public Policy. He's from Central Jersey, the existence of which he will vehemently defend. Outside of journalism, he likes romcoms and ... he can't think of anything else. He aspires to becoming verified on twitter so follow him @victor_porcelli.
Sam Klein, Managing Editor
Sam Klein is a junior majoring in journalism and environmental science. He is interested in sustainable, large-scale farming and fishing as well as global economic development in the agricultural sector; he also supports eating insects. Outside of WSN he runs on NYU's cross-country and track teams. During his free time he enjoys photography, traveling, coffee and being outdoors. You can check out his work at samklein.myportfolio.com or on instagram @samkleinphotography.
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  • J

    Joe InsiderMar 26, 2019 at 9:42 am

    Privatization with controls and monitoring can provide better quality and value for the students. It is ironic that the students prefer self-op when they are attending a private institution themselves. Larger companies have better purchasing, quality, variety, partnerships compared to a self-op which relies on a “good” general manager. Aramark providing prisons food system is not necessarily a bad thing. They are likely saving tax payers money and I know they have programs that help inmates get trained in food service to be able to get jobs after their release. Perhaps students start using phones manufactured by not-for profits and use social media that is also not-for profit.

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