Sodexo new sole food provider for CSUSM

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By Jessie Gambrell

Staff writer
In August, CSUSM announced several of the on-campus food and beverage providers would be managed by the Sodexo company in hopes of creating positive growth.
Sodexo, a food and facilities management services company, was introduced to CSUSM students on Aug. 16 by campus email. Sodexo already serves more than 900 educational institutions, including hospitals, military bases, government agencies and conference centers across the nation and in some parts of Mexico and Canada. The Big Cat Bistro, Big Cat Market, on campus Starbucks and all conference and event catering will now be managed by Sodexo, just one semester after PepsiCo was chosen as the sole beverage provider for the campus.
One of the most visual changes came in the form of new uniforms for employees at the Dome’s Big Cat Bistro. All of the food servers and cashiers are now in Sodexo official uniforms.
“I love it, I feel like they’re taking our Big Cat Bistro to a better level. I hope that the student body is noticing the change. I wasn’t a fan of [the uniforms] but work’s work. It makes it look more clean cut, I guess,” food server and cashier, Celeste said.
Since Sodexo took control of the campus food services, many changes and improvements have taken place and staff members seem to be pleased with the progress. Including a new food plan called C.A.T. It is a meal plan with a C Plan – 150 Cougar Dollars gets you 10 free Starbucks coffee/iced tea or fountain beverage, an A Plan – 400 Cougar Dollars gets you 30 free (above drinks), and T Plan – 1000 Cougar Dollars gets you 50 free drinks. Since the C.A.T. plan has been enacted through Sodexo, the food sales have gone up, and business is good.
“There have been no complaints; the employees like that they are all now part of the Dining Services Student Board of Directors. Sodexo pays for the uniforms and the shoes, plus they have a great sustainability program,” Dora Knoblock said, University Auxiliary and Research Services Corporation (UARSC) Executive Director. “One of the questions that we had heard was that Sodexo doesn’t hire students, but they do have student employees and participation.”
Sodexo plans to provide a weekly food menu for the students and a new website, set to be released soon. Questions and comments about the Sodexo change can be emailed to Knoblock at [email protected] or visit the UARSC website at www.csusm.edu/uarsc.

The Cougar Chronicle The independent student news site of California