Towson selects Aramark as new dining services vendor

By: Caitlyn Freeman, Editor in Chief 

Towson University will end its 40-year contract with Chartwell Higher Education in July after selecting Aramark Collegiate Hospitality to provide on-campus dining services through 2028, the university announced Friday. 

The decision comes after a nearly six-month procurement process for the contract. The university’s current $87 million contract with Chartwells will end on June 30, 2023. 

The contract includes management of all TU dining halls and other on-campus food locations.

“Chartwells has been a solid partner over the years, but we wanted to look at the contract renewal period as an opportunity to reinvigorate the dining scene on campus, prioritizing our students’ feedback and needs,” Vernon Hurte, TU’s vice president for student affairs, said in a press release. 

The university said it’s encouraging all current dining services employees to remain with the university despite the vendor change.

A representative for Chartwells said they will work with the university to ensure a smooth transition.

“Chartwells has been a proud partner of Towson University for the past 43 years, delivering a dining program focused on serving a variety of delicious and quality meals to students, faculty, staff, and the wider campus community,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

With the new vendor comes new on-campus dining locations. In addition, the three on-campus dining halls being given “a distinct brand identity,” The new retail dining locations will include:

  • The Halal Shack
  • Bento Sushi
  • Jack’s Burrito
  • Village Juice
  • Food Lab

The on-campus Chick-fil-a, Starbucks, Dunkin and Einstein Bros will remain, the university said.

Alicia Kent, regional vice president at Aramark, said the organization hopes to empower the campus and support student success.

“We are thrilled to bring a new evolution in college dining to campus,” she said in the press release. 

In addition to the new food options, students will also have different dining plans. Currently, students have the option of a 10, 14, 19, 21 or block meal plan. Aramark will provide different variations of meal plans based on student residential status, the university said. 

The proposed plan is as follows for students living in Barton House, Douglass House, Glen Complex, Newell Hall, Richmond Hall, Prettyman Hall, Scarborough Hall, Residence Tower and floors 2-5 of Residences at 10 West Burke Avenue.

  • Unlimited meals — This provides unlimited access to all of TU’s all-you-care-to-eat dining halls.
  • Tiger Meals — A pre-selected combo meal at participating retail locations either per-week or per semester.
  • Dining Dollars — These can be used at all of TU’s on-campus retail locations.
  • Guest swipes — Students will be able to treat friends and family to a meal at any of the all-you-care-to-eat dining halls.

 The plan for students not within that cohort has yet to be announced. 

Jordan Colquitt, president of the Student Government Association sat on the committee tasked with reviewing the contract proposals. He said he’s excited for the new partnership.

“Based on that feedback it was clear what our students needed,” he said in a statement. “The committee took into consideration the needs for dining affordability, combating food insecurity, diversity and inclusion efforts and more. Another key area we prioritized were efforts to support thriving athletics programs and a commitment to staff rollover”

Aramark also plans to introduce mobile ordering and 24-hour convenience store access.

Aladdin Campus Dining, Chartwells, Sodexo and Aramark Corporation visited the campus during the procurement process, The Towerlight previously reported

The contract with Aramark will begin on July 1, 2023.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

Gabriel Donahue contributed to this article.


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