Dining Vendor Decision FAQ

Why was Bon Appetit chosen?

Bon Appétit was selected in part because their company’s mission and experience with providing food service for higher education institutions align with UChicago Dining’s mission to build community through food, create unique dining experiences, and procure and serve the best food while supporting the surrounding neighborhoods and the city of Chicago. They were also chosen because of their ability to meet the needs and expectations that students have told us were most important in a dining program.

Bon Appétit is committed to creating flavorful, nutritious food that is prepared from scratch using authentic ingredients and made in a socially responsible manner for the well-being of their guests, communities, and the environment. For more information about Bon Appétit, visit www.bamco.com.

Bon Appétit has also pledged to partner with the Office of Civic Engagement through UChicago Local and with the Office of Business Diversity in purchasing from mid-South Side businesses, particularly women- and minority-owned businesses and enterprises, enhancing the University’s commitment to working with local business partners. 

What was the process for making this decision?

In 2015, UChicago Dining created and released a request for proposal (RFP) to food service companies across the country. Three companies responded, and after in-depth interviews with each vendor and visits to other peer institutions, Bon Appétit was selected.

Who was involved in the decision-making process?

UChicago Dining formed a committee made up of students, Resident Masters, and staff to assist with the selection process. The selection committee met several times for events such as a campus tour of UChicago Dining locations and in-depth vendor interviews and presentations. Their input throughout the RFP process was integrated into the decision to choose Bon Appetit.

This committee included approximately 25 individuals from:

  • Inter House Council
  • Student Government
  • The College
  • Harris School of Public Policy
  • School of Social Service Administration
  • The Office of the President
  • The Office of the Provost
  • Business Diversity
  • Campus and Student Life
  • Center for Leadership & Involvement
  • Civic Engagement
  • College Housing & Residential Services
  • Commercial Real Estate
  • Facilities Services
  • Financial Services
  • Identity & Access Management
  • International House
  • Logan Center for the Arts
  • University of Chicago Medical Center

When will the new vendor take over?

The transition will take place on July 1, 2016, when Aramark’s contract ends and Bon Appetit begins operations on campus. UChicago Dining has developed a detailed transition plan that we will work on with both vendors to ensure as smooth a transition as possible. In the coming months, we will continue to provide updates on the transition at dining.uchicago.edu.

How will the new contract affect the staff at the dining commons and cafes?

We do not anticipate any layoffs as a result of the new contract.  All staff are invited to remain in their current positions if they choose, and members of Bon Appetit’s management team will be on campus beginning the week of May 2 to meet staff and share transition plans. In addition, the opening of Baker Dining Commons at Campus North Residence Hall in fall 2016 will increase the number of foodservice positions available on campus.

How will this affect my meal plan or Maroon Dollars?

While UChicago Dining continuously evaluates meal plans to ensure student need are met, during the first year of the new contract, all meal plans will remain the same in structure. This includes the number of meals per plan and their corresponding meal exchanges, guest meals, and Maroon Dollars, and all meal plan terms and conditions still apply.

What locations does the new contract apply to?

All three residential dining commons, the academic cafes, and the retail markets will be included in the new contract. For a full list of locations as well as updated information on the hours of operations, please visit dining.uchicago.edu.  If you’d like to learn more about Bon Appetit, please visit www.bamco.com.

Who can I contact with questions?

Please feel free to get in touch with UChicago Dining at dining@uchicago.edu or 773.702.1600, or fill out an online feedback form.