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Volume 23, No. 5       October 16, 2000

Sodexho-Marriott Brings New Approach to College Dining

Sodexho-Marriott, the College’s new food service provider, has changed the student eating scene. In addition to physical renovations that include new carpets, serving-line fronts, and cooking and salad bar stations, Sodexho-Marriott has overhauled the menu and spiced up the ambience.

La Vincita Bistro"We came here with a commitment to bring an innovative approach to the way we prepare and serve food," says Gene Wescott, director of dining services. "One of the ways we’ve done that is to change our food presentation to a more upscale style focused on various menu themes. We’ve also introduced display cooking stations, where the food is prepared to order right in front of the customer."

The innovations are evident in the three main dining areas. The Campus Center Dining Hall, for example, features daily international display cooking, deli offerings, the signature marinated steakhouse burger, and a vegetarian food line. The Towers Dining Hall offers a Newman’s Own pasta bar, a New York–style deli featuring a hot sandwich of the day, and express take-out service. The Terrace Dining Hall offers kosher dining along with a wide selection of sandwich wraps and the homestyle dining of the Charleston Market.

"Rather than serve the same entrées at all locations, we want to give each dining facility its own identity," Wescott says.

Grand Central CafeIn that spirit, the dining halls aren’t the only food service areas that have been made over. The French Quarter Coffee Company in the Campus Center is now called La Vincita Bistro (photo above) and offers brick oven New York–style pizza, pasta specialties, and Starbucks coffee. The Grand Central Cafe (photo left), formerly the candy shop, is now the place to look for frozen yogurt, smoothie drinks, baked goods, and Green Mountain coffee. The Campus Center snack bar now features a range of specialty items that include Philly cheese steaks, veggie burgers, and sandwiches and salads to go.

BJ’s Convenience Store, located in the Tower Concourse, has groceries, snacks, and beverages for sale as well as hot and cold subs and party platters. The Tower Club, on the 14th floor of the East Tower, features daily lunch specials and an all-you-can-eat buffet. The Tower Club can be reserved for special evening events.

Customer surveys of students have found that, so far, the most popular new items are the smoothie beverages at the Grand Central Cafe.

Photos by Brian Calicchia


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Andrejs Ozolins, Ithaca College Office of Publications. 27. Oct. 2000