Aramark’s higher education division—now Aramark Collegiate Hospitality—is doubling down on sustainability and global flavors, inspiring excitement about its culinary offerings and expertise, and unveiling a new name and look that reflects what it does best.
“These past few years have been nothing short of incredible, with both amazing successes and significant challenges,” says Jack Donovan, President and CEO of Aramark Collegiate Hospitality. “This is the moment to make sure that our brand—our public look and messaging—matches what we do every day to enhance the dining and living experience of our consumers.”
Aramark Collegiate Hospitality is making it easier for students and the campus community to choose climate-friendly foods through the expansion of Cool Food Meals this fall. The Cool Food Meals badge identifies dishes with a lower carbon footprint and will appear on more than 350 menu items at participating schools. The availability of Cool Food Meals is aligned with Aramark’s announcement in June that it is the first food service company in the U.S. to sign WRI’s Cool Food Pledge. By signing the Pledge, Aramark is committing to drastically reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with the food it serves in the U.S. by 25 per cent by 2030.
As the only food service company with a full-time Farm-to-Institution role dedicated to getting food directly from local farmers to our chefs, Aramark Collegiate Hospitality puts words into action with shared sustainability goals focused on developing diverse and inclusive sourcing and local seafood initiatives. Local purchasing and relationships continue to be a key factor in Aramark’s vision, and the company has enhanced resources to deepen these bonds. Last year, Aramark spent over US $260 million dollars working with small farms and local businesses.
A strong desire for more global flavors continues to figure prominently in student feedback. Aramark research shows that 67 per cent of Gen Z prefers authentic cultural cuisine, and Collegiate Hospitality is proud to announce a significant expansion of its La Latina Cocina partnership with celebrity Chef Grace Ramirez. Aramark’s culinary development team worked with Ramirez and chefs from its Collegiate Hospitality culinary team to develop a comprehensive authentically Latin experience. Last year’s 11-school pilot—featuring pop-up and takeover stations—will expand to 74 campuses this fall.
Dining with Confidence
To accommodate different student tastes and preferences, Aramark Collegiate Hospitality is providing a variety of dining stations—from the allergen-friendly True Balance to the new Burgers +Fries—and also, by employing experts and by cultivating experts through widespread and accessible training.
- Chefs: Aramark Collegiate Hospitality employs more than 100 chefs on campuses across the nation. Of these, more than 50 have achieved the Culinary Institute of America’s ProChef certification.
- Dietitians: More than 50 registered dietitians supply the subject matter expertise to guide all programs related to health, wellness, and nutrition. They have three key focus areas: campus programming and education, food safety and oversight, and nutrition consultations. Students at every Aramark campus have access to these registered dietitians.
- Allergen Training: ANSI-accredited food allergy training is available to all employees at no cost. There are currently 87 AllerCheck™ certified college and university locations, a first-of-its-kind audit for allergen-friendly dining stations. Each location must be audited and certified once a semester.
Meal plans are designed to meet a variety of student dining needs, whether through dining dollars or through full access plans. The plan variety helps to meet budgetary needs and provides a stable, predictable cost model, despite the current challenges with inflation.
Futures Better Served: Collegiate Hospitality
In a post-pandemic world, when the in-person community feels fresh again, Aramark Collegiate Hospitality is going back to basics, creating a hospitality ecosystem on campus that enhances student and community life.
“This isn’t a change in identity; it’s an alignment of presentation and substance,” explains Trevor Ferguson, President and COO for Aramark Collegiate Hospitality. “As with all healthy business partnerships, our offerings have evolved with client and market needs. We rebranded our name and messaging to reflect what we are already doing.”
Studies have shown that nearly half of students say that dining programs and amenities were important in their college decision. Collegiate Hospitality’s environmentally conscious dining experience, global cuisine, and holistic approach to wellness aligns with student priorities and is essential to its core values.