Food Management, a website focused on trends and best practices in the noncommercial food service industry, named Ithaca College its Innovator of the Month for the college’s decision to bring dining services “in house.”
The website lauded IC for finding the resources to undertake self-operation of dining services, building relationships with local partners like Cornell University, and making structural changes to the dining program to increase meal plan appeal.
Last spring, IC decided to end its campus-dining contract with Sodexo, taking those operations in house in order to improve programming and lower costs.
“We now have the flexibility to be very, very liberal, as opposed to a food contractor [with which] you have to go through numerous iterations of negotiations to change things,” vice president for finance and administration William Guerrero told Food Management. “Now, we’re really nimble.”
Food Management also noted IC’s decision to emphasize local vendors like Ithaca Bakery, Ithaca Coffee Company, Gimme! Coffee, Purity Ice Cream and Chick-n-Bap.
“Instead of having your national brands like a Starbucks or Einstein Bagels, we went with local that resonates with the community and the students,” Guerrero said.
Read the full story on Food-Management.com: “Going self-op gives Ithaca College dining flexibility”