CSUEB prepares to end contract with Aramark

Erika Martinez,
Staff Writer

The Philadelphia-based corporation, Aramark, took over the university food services on July 1, 2006. This contract with Aramark came with an expiration date, June 30, 2018. Just a little over four months left, the question of who will be the next food service provider that will take over the university is still unknown.

Aramark is in charge of the Dining Commons and all campus restaurants that include Starbucks, Taco Bell, Greens To Go, Pizza Hut, Einstein Bros. Bagels, P.O.D, Subway, Panda Express and Jamba Juice.

Before the expansion of Pioneer Heights in 2007, it was primarily considered a commuter campus. The creation of more housing units called for the procurement of feeding student residents during non-school hours, which the food vendors on campus at that time did not offer.

“We received proposals on Feb. 14 and we convened an evaluation committee consisting of staff, faculty and students to be part of the evaluation,” John Medwin, director of the Procurement and Support Services at CSUEB told The Pioneer. He explained they issued a request for proposal (RFP) on Dec. 21, 2017.

An RFP is an invitation for companies who have expertise in the food industry or big food cafeteria distribution field to submit a proposal so they can be taken into consideration by the school. Who are these corporations that are currently under evaluation by the school? Could one of those be Aramark again? However, Medwin refused to disclose which companies are involved and if one of them was Aramark.

“We call it a negotiated procurement, to release that information could jeopardize our position in negotiating,” stated Medwin. He further said he can only release what is considered to be general information until the evaluation process is over.

A decision is planned to be made and announced in April. After that, it would be a three-month transition period to allow the new company to get ready and give service starting July 1. As for the future of the restaurants, they would remain on campus for at least two years with the new contractor due to the capital cost that the school partakes in.

Medwin explained that the school is not in charge of the restaurants, the contractor is, so if the new contractor wants to keep or change them, they can after two years.

“We have multiple proposals and we’re evaluating them each independently, part of it is qualitative, part of it is their financial proposal,” Medwin told The Pioneer. According to him, the school wanted to include everyone’s perspective in the evaluation process and for that reason, the process consists of students, faculty and staff members.

“We want to see from each company, what they can do for us,” said Medwin.

With the contract coming to an end, the future of CSU East Bay food services is hazy.

“Student residents would always tell me that food here isn’t anything special, but from my perspective, I feel everyone just got bored of the food,” communication major, Kevin Alvarez, told The Pioneer. As a new transfer student, Alvarez displays satisfaction with the food services that Aramark provides. “Being a first-time university student, I thought all the food here was great,” he said.