The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

2024 Commencement Student Speaker: Lea Tarzy
Alexandra Slofkiss: 2024 Commencement Soloist
Outstanding Senior Award: Bernadette Maramis
Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion: Gloria Sporea

Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion: Gloria Sporea

May 10, 2024

Excellence in Athletics Award: Meghan Quinn

Excellence in Athletics Award: Meghan Quinn

May 10, 2024

Excellence in the Arts Award: Joselyn Busato

Excellence in the Arts Award: Joselyn Busato

May 10, 2024

View All

Chartwells Higher Education chosen as new Bucknell Dining provider

Rendering+of+possible+changes+for+the+Bison+courtesy+of+Chartwells+Higher+Education
Rendering of possible changes for the Bison courtesy of Chartwells Higher Education

Bucknell announced this week that they have selected Chartwells Higher Education — a dining vendor that serves over 300 colleges and universities, employing more than 38,000 food service associates — to take on a 10-year contract to enhance the Dining Services program on campus.

Details of the contract are being finalized, with service expected to begin July 1, 2024. All hourly Dining Services staff employed by Parkhurst, the University’s current dining vendor, will have the option to retain their positions after the transition at the same hourly rate.

After engaging in a yearlong search process facilitated by an outside consultant, Envision Strategies, the Dining Steering Committee recommended the contract with Chartwells, which met all of the requirements in Bucknell’s request for proposals. It was the top choice of students, faculty and staff according to surveys following onsite presentations and tastings from three potential dining providers last month, and was the steering committee’s first choice as well.

“Through their proposal and on-campus presentation, Chartwells demonstrated its ability to not only meet the diverse needs and wishes of our students, but also shared their creative vision for an engaged dining experience for the University,” says Lisa Keegan, Vice President for Student Enrollment, Engagement and Success and co-chair of the Dining Steering Committee.

Story continues below advertisement

Chartwells said that feedback which they received from presentation and campus feedback has provided them with “which will be used to incorporate suggestions and ideas into our future programming.” However, Chartwells also stated that they also “recognize that student preferences and needs are always evolving, and we will be implementing a variety of communication platforms to continuously gather feedback throughout the year. Some of these programs include an annual feedback survey, physical kiosks, website feedback forms, a dedicated text line that can be answered in real time by our managers and scheduled dining committee meetings. Comments from these sources are reviewed daily and opportunities to improve are regularly identified and executed on.”

“Dining is a critical part of the student experience. It’s important to not only meet our students’ nutritional needs, but also to fully integrate dining into the residential educational experience,” Keegan adds. “Food is an essential part of learning and building community and we are excited by Chartwells’ ideas for teaching-kitchen opportunities, engaging with the Bucknell Farm and providing a culinary liaison who will work closely with students in our cultural clubs and organizations.”

Committee members said they were impressed by Chartwells’ many exciting ideas to reimagine Bucknell’s dining program and are confident in its ability to provide the campus community with top-quality, creative and nutritious meals as well as outstanding service and a commitment to sustainability.

On July 1st, when Chartwells Higher Education’s contract begins, a website with menu concepts and details will be available. All operations will be open and available when students return in the fall.

Enhancing Dining Options
Chartwells will partner with Bucknell to enhance the student experience, supporting the growing diversity of the campus community by offering a wide variety of cuisines. Additionally, they will support initiatives that ensure access to these culinary options, which will help the University foster a more equitable dining structure.

As part of that structure, Chartwells will deliver a variety and diversity of quality offerings to engage in on-campus dining. That will include partnerships with local and regional restaurants to provide rotating offerings of diverse cuisines to be represented in residential, retail, academic and catering offerings. Whenever possible, it will use locally sourced food and follow sustainable practices, including creating a working partnership with the Bucknell Farm, labeling foods that have a positive climate rating, reducing waste, participating in Stop Food Waste Day and using reusable to-go containers and compostable service ware.

Chartwells will provide nutritious vegan/vegetarian options, honor nine major food allergens, work with campus chaplains to address kosher and halal needs on campus and have a dedicated dietician to work with students individually to meet their dietary needs.

It will also partner with University leadership to improve food security on campus, designing meals/options and dining hours that support the needs of all students.

“Chartwells’ Bucknell-specific approach on food insecurity and plans to be a collaborative vendor with campus partners seems hopeful in taking the first steps to tackle student demands and needs,” says Gabby Diaz ’25, a student representative on the Dining Steering Committee.

Chartwells leadership will work with Bucknell’s active student clubs and organizations to assist in the development of diverse and authentic resident, retail, academic and catered menu options that best represent the cultural, ethnic and religious diversity on campus.

In addition, Chartwells plans to create opportunities to work in campus dining including internships and staff positions. Student workers will be able to have free meals during their shift, build flexible schedules and participate in development opportunities like leadership training.

“I’m excited to become a part of the Bucknell community and share the joy I have for food and building connections around shared tables,” says Prince Guye Johnson, Resident District Manager of Chartwells Higher Education. “We look forward to speaking with students and creating a customized dining experience that speaks to students’ preferences and cultivates relationships with local farms and partners.”

Bucknell’s current meal plan structure will continue for the time being, but Chartwells will partner with the University to reimagine meal plans by the second year of the contract.

“We recognize the importance of affordability and will work closely with the University and student focus groups to find the right meal plans for Bucknell students as we look ahead,” Chartwells Higher Education told The Bucknellian.

(Visited 219 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Michael Taromina
Michael Taromina, News Editor

Comments (0)

The editorial board of The Bucknellian reserves the right to review all comments before they are posted on the website and remove any if deemed offensive, illegal or in bad taste. Comments left on our web pages are not necessarily in-line with the views expressed by the writer.
All The Bucknellian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *