For the first time in nearly 16 years, The University of New Mexico is announcing a new partnership with Aramark Collegiate Hospitality as its on-campus dining services provider.

Following a rigorous procurement process that lasted nearly a year and involved input from students, staff, faculty, and the food services administrative team, UNM Food has selected Aramark Collegiate Hospitality to provide dining services through 2034. The current contract with Chartwells Higher Education will conclude on June 30, 2024.

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"We are grateful for Chartwells' collaborative partnership over the years," said Alicia Solano, assistant vice president for Campus Business Services in Institutional Support Services (ISS). "However, we saw the contract renewal as an opportunity to refresh our campus dining experience, incorporating student input and preferences, as well as aligning with UNM 2040."

Existing food services employees are encouraged to continue serving the UNM community with Aramark Collegiate Hospitality, which has committed their best effort to retaining current staff. Detailed communication regarding job opportunities and assistance for employees will be provided.

The contract encompasses management of all central campus retail and residential dining concepts, as well as catering services. Current dining offerings will remain unchanged until the transition, with future changes influenced by student and campus feedback gathered through roundtables, town halls, and focus groups in the coming months.

One exciting improvement on the horizon is the planned renovation of the La Posada dining hall within the next two years. Additionally, further developments will consider input from campus stakeholders, such as the UNM Student Union Building (SUB) retail/marketing committee, to align with UNM goals and priorities.

"Aramark Collegiate Hospitality is eager to deliver extraordinary hospitality for the University of New Mexico," said Jim Accardi, regional vice president for Aramark. "Our shared commitment to sustainability, local partnerships, and authentic culinary experiences, along with our dedication to community feedback, will lead to an amazing partnership."

Aramark has pledged its commitment to supporting the Lobo Food Pantry and Lobo Eats, as well as UNM's sustainability goals for 2040 by incorporating programs to promote sustainability and reduce waste and carbon emissions.

Travis Broadhurst, GPSA director of Sustainability, expressed excitement about the new partnership, emphasizing the importance of healthy dining options that cater to student needs. “I’m thankful to UNM Food for including students in this important process. Both graduate and undergraduate students know how imperative it is to have healthy, dynamic dining options across campus that stay relevant to the needs of students. Aramark’s detailed plan answers that call with improvements to existing dining options, extended hours, access for all members of the UNM community, and a deep commitment to maintaining flexibility. I’m excited to see what they’ll bring to the table.”

Aramark Collegiate Hospitality also recognizes the significance of local businesses in New Mexico and the UNM community, committing to giving them a central place on campus.

Chartwells Higher Education expressed gratitude for the opportunity to serve the UNM community and pledged to ensure a smooth transition. “We are immensely grateful to the UNM community for the opportunity to serve you,” said Joe Fischioni, West Division president for Chartwells Higher Education. “As we prepare for the transition, we remain committed to ensuring continuity of service and support.”

The contract with Aramark will commence on July 1, 2024. Stay updated on the latest dining news at UNM Food.