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U of M, Crookston Recommends Moving to Outside Vendor for Food Service Operations
April 4, 2008

Contact: Krista Lemos, director of communications, 218-281-8438 (

CROOKSTON, Minn. (April 4, 2008) – The University of Minnesota, Crookston is recommending that the University enter into a new agreement with an outside vendor for the operation and management of food services on the Crookston campus. With this contract, the campus would move from self-operated to managed dining services with Sodexo, Inc., as of July 1, 2008. The contract is scheduled to go before the University Board of Regents for their consideration on April 10, 2008.


It is a priority at the University of Minnesota, Crookston to provide an exceptional student experience and dining services are an integral component of campus life,” Chancellor Charles H. Casey said. “Enhancements and investments in the dining service experience through a contract and partnership with Sodexo will help meet expectations and achieve identified campus goals.”


The proposed 10-year contract with Sodexo meets the University’s high standards for quality, choice, service and responsibility and provides the best value and best financial benefit for the University and students, faculty and staff. Key terms include employee stability and financial investments and commitments. Members of AFSCME and Teamster unions remain University of Minnesota employees at their current salary and benefit level and report to Sodexo management. Current on-site management will also continue employment and be employed by Sodexo. Sodexo has committed $300,000 in capital improvement funds plus annual commissions and revenue sharing based on program performance, which includes increased patronage. The contract can be extended for an additional 6 years or extended in 2-year increments, up to a total of 6 years.


A world leader in food and facilities management services, Sodexo, Inc. specializes in food hospitality services and brings many resources to the table, including a well-developed understanding of the market and a focus on customer service. The contract provides for improved student and customer satisfaction; the introduction of contemporary dining options; nationally branded food service concepts; new and renovated campus dining venues; menu variety; on-campus culinary expertise; organizational and financial stability; improved marketing; and expanded sustainability initiatives.


The U of M, Crookston has taken an in-depth look into delivery of food services, overall customer satisfaction and options available for building excellence and improvements into operations over the past year. As part of the process, the campus asked for proposals from outside vendors for managing dining services on campus.


Chancellor Casey said that input gathered from students, faculty and staff through forums, surveys and committee work indicated that changes were needed to help increase student satisfaction and meet marketplace demands. After an extensive review and study of internal operations and vendor alternatives, the campus entered into negotiations with a preferred vendor in order to pursue a sound financial contract that would help meet the campus community expectations and provide an exceptional student experience.


The University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers more than 25 applied-science undergraduate degree programs and 50 concentrations, including several online degrees, in agriculture; arts, humanities and social sciences; business; math, science and technology; and natural resources. Invent yourself at the University of Minnesota, Crookston – become a leader, innovate through technology and research and secure the career you want. To learn more, visit

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