TORONTO — The University of Toronto’s downtown Toronto campus has opted not to renew its contract with Aramark Canada, which handled approximately half of the campus’s foodservice operations.
Instead, starting this summer, the university will run the foodservice itself. “This move will allow us to take a more active role in creating comfortable and welcoming dining areas,” Anne Macdonald, U of T’s director of Ancillary Services says on the university’s website. “We’ll also be able to enhance the food offerings available to students on the St. George campus, particularly those who don’t live in residence.”
The university says the change will allow for increased use of local products and reduce the use of pre-prepared and processed foods. Macdonald says it also increases the opportunity to develop meal plans that better meet the needs of students, both those who live in residence and those who commute to the campus. The residence dining operations at New College and Chestnut residence will be important dining hubs in the new model.
The move follows several years of planning and consultation with students, staff and faculty. Macdonald said those discussions showed there is a strong appetite for improved food options, including some that are unique to the U of T.
The university already directly operates a number of dining areas on the St. George campus, especially those located in student residences. All of the outlets currently on campus will remain in operation after the switchover and the campus catering previously provided by Aramark will also transition to operation by the university.
Approximately 250 Aramark employees currently working in foodservice locations on the campus will be offered employment opportunities in the new foodservices operation. Town hall meetings are scheduled with the employees for next week to discuss the upcoming change.