Washington Evening Journal
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Washington, IA 52353
As part of its new alliance with Southeastern Community College, Iowa Wesleyan University is changing food service vendors.
IWU’s Vice President for Enrollment, Marketing and Communications Meg Richtman explained that the change came as a result of an effort to share services with SCC.
“One of the goals of our new partnership with SCC is to identify opportunities for shared contracts,” Richtman said. “One of the first large-scale contracts we chose to review was our food service contract.”
Sodexo has served as IWU’s food service provider for nearly 30 years, while Consolidated Management has served SCC in the same capacity for the past five years.
Richtman said that a request for proposal was extended to both companies in April to submit food service proposals to serve both schools.
IWU and SCC each appointed six individuals to serve on a food service committee to review the proposals and complete a due diligence process.
“After an in-depth process that included evaluating the vendors' proposals and visits to both dining halls, the 12-person committee unanimously recommended that we proceed with a contract with Consolidated Management Company,” Richtman said. “Under the new arrangement, Consolidated will provide a dedicated on-site manager and chef at each site, but the overall pricing of the services is based on our combined enrollment.”
Richtman said that the estimated combined savings for the two schools will be $2 million over five years.
The fact that Consolidated is based in Des Moines factored into the decision, according to Richtman. Sodexo is an international company, with headquarters in France and Iowa offices in Cedar Rapids and Dubuque.
“Iowa Wesleyan University is grateful to Sodexo for its service over the past several decades,” she said. “However, as our student population has continued to diversify, our students have requested more variety and healthier dining options.
“We believe that by working with a smaller, regional vendor, we will have greater flexibility and the ability to offer more variety for our students.”
Richtman said that the school is encouraging Consolidated to retain the food service employees who worked under Sodexo.
“The new vendor will go through the process of employment with them,” she said. “We have expressed with our new partner a desire for them to work with those employees.”