"Sports teams are increasingly turning to sponsorship deals with big-name food brands, rather than lower-profile offerings from standard catering companies."
Its not hard to imagine this quote reading "[Universities and colleges] are increasingly turning to sponsorship deals with big-name food brands, rather than lower-profile offerings from standard catering companies." This Toronto Star article was highlighting a new deal reached by the Toronto Blue Jays and Tim Hortons last year and being a sports fan the article caught my attention.
For years Canadian post-secondary institutions have been integrating brands like Tim Hortons into campus operations, but usually under the management of one of the big three catering companies - Sodexo, Aramark and Compass Group (Chartwells). With food being one of the most commonly used techniques to bring students together at events student affairs staff have a stake in how an institution manages food service.
Anyone who has been at a conference knows that food can make or break a participant's experience. We also know that staff and students are not shy voicing their opinions about campus food outlets especially if they are displeased.Working directly with a brand like Tim Hortons could allow food choices to be tailored more specifically to the needs of students, staff and faculty on a campus.
This past week I had an opportunity to sit down with the director of food service at uWaterloo for first time and earlier in the week I sat in on my first food service advisory committee meeting. I learned that food service is run by the university rather than through a contractor and purchases are done largely through the WatCard which can be used in a number of places off-campus using "flex dollars." Nutrition and choice were two of the prominent topics raised by students along with learning to work with food by those who live in residence but do not have a meal plan. Food plays a large role in a student's residence experience so I'm keen to hear how food is managed at other institutions.
How is the food operation set up on your campus, what are some of the prominent issues raised and what are some of the innovations food service staff have introduced to enhance the service?
Image source: http://www.wlu.ca/page.php?grp_id=12019&p=1290