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Future of Higher Education

Benefits of Contracting Dining Services for Today’s Student

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dining-dining services-at&t-pandemic-higher education

During this exciting time, there is tremendous value to students in leaning on partnerships. I see key benefits of having a dining services partner in the areas of process, transparency, people, and innovation.

Specialized expertise and established processes are vital for feeding our campus community. Dining services are far more complex these days with retail dining operations, residential dining halls, and catering. Students seek convenience, and that means technology for mobile ordering, delivery, and payment options. Large, medium, or small campus, we all have a lot on our plates and a partner managing all those tasks reduces redundancies and saves the team time and budget.

As a public institution, we at North Carolina A&T answer to many. We are responsible for delivering excellence to our students and budgetary performance to the state. And parents want to know their students are healthy, engaged and thriving every day, beyond the shine of the campus tour. Through a long-term partnership with Sodexo, we have fostered trust that comes with performance, transparency, and accountability. We have shared expectations for quality, customer service, and overall performance. When our partner delivers, our sense of collaboration, transparency, and loyalty grows.

Our dining services partnership also provides deep people operations, expertise, and management. Our dining services team members benefit from exceptional training, recruitment, and promotion opportunities, and are most definitely part of the NC A&T community. They know and are loved by our students and faculty. I have seen particularly how outsourcing our dining services program has helped us better navigate both labor and supply chain challenges during the pandemic.

Finally, outsourcing dining services at NC A&T results in a program that stays fresh. Our students want real value, but they also want cuisines from across the globe, more plant-based and sustainable options, and retail choices that match their favorite hometown restaurants. It’s a tall order, but having a partner who is an expert, and lives and breathes this industry, just as we live and breathe higher education, helps us take full advantage to leverage their supplier network, regional and national innovation team and network of chefs, and their deep consumer research and insights to stay ahead of what students need and want.

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