Request for proposals from other food services released: Could we be saying good-bye to Aramark?

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Students may be seeing a change in cafeteria service in the next year. The current food vendor here at UNBSJ has reached the end of its contract period and a request for proposals from other suppliers has been released.

According to Students’ Representative Council (SRC) President, Brad Trecartin, Aramark, who has been running the food program here for the past ten years, will have a chance to renew their contract with us again, this time, however, there will be competition.

The company’s contract with the school runs on a five-year basis: at the end of the first five years, the school has a chance to renew it with no contest each year after that up to five times—as long as they continue to fit satisfactory criteria, of course; there is a certain amount of liability to be accounted for.

Trecartin says, “At the end of the [second] five years, they send a request out to everybody. Any [food service vendor] who wants to sign a contract with UNBSJ can [now] apply.”

Since Aramark has reached the end of its last renewal period, the school has extended the request to any company wishing to offer their services to the university.

The first step, which has just begun, is to answer the call for proposals. Those who fit the required standards can apply for consideration at the GNB tenders website.

Though not much can be said about the process currently, as the companies’ proposals will not be reviewed until February or March of this year, the potential for change is very present.

We may see Aramark resume its position in the cafeteria, but the possibility of a new name gracing the menu is there, too. Residence student, Jackie Beckett says she is alright with either turnout.

“Being a regular, there’s a sense of family that comes along with it. I enjoy the food at the cafeteria; however I do believe more options on the menu would be a good thing,” she says. Though she does like the current service, Beckett is welcoming any change—or lack thereof— that comes her way.

Shirley Gardiner, Manager of Residence and Conference Services, who also manages the food contract here was unavailable for comment.

Emily is in her fourth year of Political Science. She loves studying and academics which follows into her research work. She's a stern black coffee drinker and is a proud Acadienne. When she's not working or doing school work, you can find Emily listening to 70s music on vinyl and watching Parks and Recreation. If you ask her about parliamentary institutions, she won't stop talking.