Food options on East Bay campus may change sooner than later


By Michael Doherty, CONTRIBUTOR

Aramark is the company that has handled California State University East Bay’s dining contract since July 1st 2006. From the dining commons to the chain franchises on campus, Aramark controls it all.

The Pioneer reported in March of 2017 that the school was preparing to end their contract with the company on June 30, however, months later and Aramark is still the prominent food vendor here on the East Bay campus, as well as providing food services for prisons and uniform and facility care for many businesses.

“I feel like it’s time to see what another company can do for East Bay.”

—Gustavo Valadez, CSU East Bay Student

“We did issue an RFP (Request for Proposal) late last fall, two companies responded: Aramark and A‘viands,” said Debbie Chaw, Vice President Administration and Finance/Chief Financial Officer. “The final ratings [by the Board] were so close, my percurrent director said he has never seen the results of an RFP be that close.” Meaning that once the proposals were reviewed by the directors, both dining options were comparatively ranked almost equally by board members.

Chaw went on to explain that because they had only two offers that they were going to hire Aramark for another year and re-issue another RFP this fall. California State University East Bay is confident that with this new RFP will attract more companies to bid on the contract. According to Chaw, the school has been in talks with other bidders throughout the summer.

CSUEB will be submitting a request for proposal (RFP) by the end of September. This means that a new company may take over the dining contract, which could potentially change the dining options students have here on campus.

“A’viands is new to the California State University system”  said Chaw, stating that they just received the contract with California State University Monterey Bay and they are currently one of the interested bidders for the upcoming RFP.

A’viands recently got the CSU Monterey Bay dining contract, who offers more local standalone dining options, such as the on campus burger joint Monte’s, over food chains.

Local standalone dining on campus could be a change that comes if a company like A’viands gets contracted by CSU East Bay. This is something CSU East Bay had before Aramark when it had a coffee shop named The Bistro, which was located where the current Taco Bell is.

“I’d love to see more mom and pop food options on campus. I feel like non-chain food options are usually healthier and better quality,” said CSU East Bay student Gustavo Valadez. “I feel like it’s time to see what another company can do for East Bay.”

Whoever inevitably gets the California State University East Bay dining contract they will gain control of not only the dining commons but will also take control of the franchises on campus.

Chaw did emphasize that if there is a new contract holder it does not mean we will lose the franchises on campus but the contract holder will have ultimate say on if anyone goes and what new companies come in.