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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC Changes Food Providers

UNC officials have forged a partnership with ARAMARK management services, to begin in August when the University's current five-year contract with Sodexho-Marriott runs out.

Ira Simon, dining services administrator, said officials signed a 10-year contract with ARAMARK after a 12- to 15-person committee examined bid proposals from ARAMARK, Sodexho-Marriott and Chartwells, another food services provider.

"It's only going to get better," Simon said. "We're very proud of what we've done at Lenoir (Dining Hall). We want to take the level of student satisfaction and bring it to other aspects of campus dining programs, and ARAMARK can do that."

Mike Freeman, general administrator of auxiliary services, said this deal will benefit UNC more financially as well. Whereas the old contract didn't guarantee UNC any profit and required the University to cover all of Sodexho-Marriott's profit losses, the new contract will guarantee gains for UNC.

Under the contract, CDS must pay ARAMARK 2 percent of its sales profits.

In return, ARAMARK gives the University $500,000 -- which will pay off all remaining debts for the renovation of Lenoir, Freeman said.

If money is left over, UNC will give ARAMARK another 1.5 percent of profits.

And although the University is still responsible for any profit losses, it is guaranteed to reap $500,000 annually as long as the money comes in.

"We feel it is a better contract than what we had before," Freeman said. "I'm very excited about bringing ARAMARK to campus. They're a very down to earth family, and they have a good reputation."

Simon and Freeman said ARAMARK representatives are discussing bringing more vendors to UNC's campus, including Subway at Mainstreet Lenoir and South Campus Mini Mart.

They also have talked about bringing a juice bar and smoothie bar to the Student Recreation Center.

Simon said the University was pleased with Sodexho-Marriott's service, but ARAMARK offered more.

He said, "There's a lot of loyalty to Sodexho-Marriott around here -- they're a wonderful company. But the committee chose ARAMARK because of what they bring to the table."

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