Aramark seeking tasty alternatives

Representatives from the Aramark food service company will be on campus all week to conduct focus groups and random surveys to find out what food options USF students and staff would like to see on campus.

Assistant Vice President of Campus Business Services Jeff Mack said focus groups have already been selected, and random surveys may be distributed throughout the week.

“We’re bringing in personnel from around campus to talk about food service options to gather what people feel about other options and where people go to eat,” Mack said.

“It’s something we’ve always been looking at, and it’s just a way to get some feedback from the community for our operation in the future.”

At USF, Aramark runs the Tampa Room in the Phyllis P. Marshall Center, Burger King and Starbucks, among other smaller food-vending locations around campus.

The University will also look at possibly extending Aramark’s contract five years. Aramark’s contract expires in August.

Mack said the last time an assessment of food service options was conducted was in 2002, before Aramark signed with USF. An outside consulting firm conducted the survey.

Mack said Aramark will provide the results of the food service assessment to the University in about a month. After that, Campus Auxiliary Services will make a list of priorities for future food service production.

“Then we have to determine what we need to pay for and what needs to be done,” Mack said. “The University will determine that as we negotiate whether to extend the food service agreement contract with Aramark.”

The contract would then have to be agreed upon by Chief Financial Officer Carl Carlucci with approval by President Judy Genshaft.

Mack said the University would look at several other food vendors before reaching a decision.

“With any type of contract process, we’ll look at what they propose while specific with what the University wants to gain by hiring a vendor on campus,” Mack said, “and that will be put into a competitive bidding process.”