Each college campus is as unique as its medley of students, and this Fall Aramark (NYSE: ARMK) is offering innovative new ordering technologies and food concepts, designed with industry and campus-specific data, to deliver dining programs that engage and ground students.
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Pictured: Jack*s Burrito. Each college campus is as unique as its medley of students, and this Fall Aramark is offering innovative new ordering technologies and food concepts, designed with industry and campus-specific data, to deliver dining programs that engage and ground students. (Photo: Business Wire)
Among the technology innovations this Fall is The Drop, a mobile platform that allows contactless, digital-only ordering for pick-up or delivery and offers brands and menu items not necessarily on the college campus.. Campus community members will also be able to access SAM, a virtual assistant that delivers around-the-clock answers to meal plans and dining questions, and have the CampusDish website at their fingertips via a brand-new app.
In terms of food concepts, The Spread—a proprietary sandwich shop—was redesigned for a more tailored experience, featuring buildable sandwiches and new chef-created signature sandwiches. Aramark is also focusing on ongoing work with noted culinarians, including Philadelphia-based national restauranteur Steven Starr. Starr created a special dish for Aramark campuses with the advent of Jack*s Burrito, the (self-proclaimed) “best burritos in human history.” The Burritos are customizable, build-your-own masterpieces that are even available as gluten-free bowls and can be found on campuses across the nation.
“We found that the role of dining on campus goes well beyond the food,” said Jack Donovan, President and CEO of Aramark Collegiate Hospitality. “Top programs deliver on the emotional needs of students and foster a hospitality ecosystem that nourishes students’ tastes while also engaging their hearts and minds. Now more than ever, that sense of belonging is paramount.”
Aramark Collegiate Hospitality keeps each campus’s unique personality at the forefront when developing its hospitality programs on campus, using a data-driven approach which analyzes the individual nature of schools and their student body. Independent surveys have verified that 80% of college students consider dining in their college choice, and proprietary research by Collegiate Hospitality indicates they crave authentic on-campus college experiences, in which dining plays a large role.
Collegiate Hospitality’s Council of Student Advisors also provides a direct line to campus needs. The Council met with Aramark leadership monthly from August 2022 through April 2023, focusing on activities to orient and engage first-year students, how to better reach commuters, and what improved digital communications might look like, as well as tackling the ins and outs of care packages, menu development, health and wellness options, and sustainability. The insight gained was invaluable to shaping student-centered approaches to campus dining.
All For You: Gratitude and Belonging
In appreciation for its campus communities, Collegiate Hospitality hosted its first “Sweet to Serve You” campaign last spring—a nation-wide, all-campus celebration of its students, faculty, and staff. Campuses hosted thank-you events that included everything from pop-up treats to ice cream sundae bars. The campaign was so popular that Aramark Collegiate Hospitality will be launching the expanded “All for You” theme in the new academic year.
Beginning with a spate of “Welcome Home” events from mid-August through September, campus communities can look for treats, giveaways, and donation events throughout the year to show students the importance Aramark Collegiate Hospitality places on them and their campus experience. Collegiate Hospitality’s proprietary research methodology clearly shows that across campuses, the most frequently called out differentiator was Aramark’s ability to create a home-like environment, one where students have the feeling of being grounded and calm when dining on campus, a feeling that provides a touchstone to count on during their adventure at school.
“Our job is to create a sense of home and connectedness for students and campus community members,” said Theresa Butler, Vice President of Marketing and Student Experience. “We want our campuses to feel appreciated and to know that this gratitude lasts all year. All that we do is for the well-being of our campus community and this continued celebration is a small way to show it.”
Aramark (NYSE: ARMK) proudly serves the world’s leading educational institutions, Fortune 500 companies, world champion sports teams, prominent healthcare providers, iconic destinations and cultural attractions, and numerous municipalities in 19 countries around the world with food, facilities, and uniform services. Because our culture is rooted in service, our employees strive to do great things for each other, our partners, our communities, and the planet. Aramark has been recognized on FORTUNE’s list of “World’s Most Admired Companies,” DiversityInc’s “Top 50 Companies for Diversity” and “Top Companies for Supplier Diversity,” Newsweek’s list of “America’s Most Responsible Companies 2023,” the HRC’s “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality,” and scored 100% on the Disability Equality Index. Learn more at www.aramark.com and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Heather Dotchel, firstname.lastname@example.org, 215-264-2112