Denison University announced today that it has contracted with dining services provider Bon Appétit, an onsite restaurant company that provides café and catering services to colleges, corporations and specialty venues across America.
"Bon Appétit is the best fit for our college," said Seth Patton, vice president for finance and management. "We received proposals from four of the best providers in higher education dining services. All the proposals were strong and emphasized a commitment to local foods, scratch cooking, and a healthy, high-quality food experience, but Bon Appétit distinguished itself from the others on the basis of an established and consistent track record across all of their accounts for many years."
The college began a review of dining services options last year. The decision-making process involved input from a number of campus stakeholders, including students, the Dining Services Committee, the Sustainability Committee and others. Abram Kaplan, associate professor of environmental studies, and his environmental practicum class also had input after conducting an in-depth survey of students and visiting several other college campuses to review their food vendor operations.
All Bon Appétit food is cooked from scratch, including sauces, stocks and soups. A pioneer in environmentally sound sourcing policies, the company has developed programs to enhance the use of fresh local food sources, sustainable seafood, humanely raised meat and eggs, while also addressing farmworker-conditions, the use of antibiotics and the relationship between food and climate change. Bon Appétit has received numerous awards for its work from organizations like the International Association of Culinary Professionals, the James Beard Foundation, Chefs Collaborative, Natural Resources Defense Council, Seafood Choices Alliance, the Humane Society of the United States, and Food Alliance.
Bon Appétit notes, "Our kitchen philosophy is simple. We cook from scratch using fresh, authentic ingredients. We start with food in its simplest, most natural form. We purchase local and seasonal products. We make our food alive with flavor and nutrition. Our freezers are small, and our intention to serve great food is big."
Bon Appétit will begin providing services on the Denison campus this summer. Student board and dining hall pricing, as well as student flex-dollar plans, will remain intact as already announced for the next academic year. Bon Appétit will encourage hourly employees working for the college's current dining services vendor to seek positions with their company. In addition, Bon Appétit has agreed to honor the current wage and benefit levels of all employees who continue with them.
At Denison University, one of the nation's leading liberal arts colleges, motivated students from around the world tailor educational experiences in pursuit of their highest aspirations. Innovative faculty and a completely residential campus provide an integrated learning environment for students to develop as critical thinkers, perceptive moral agents and active citizens in a global community as they prepare for rewarding lives of purpose and impact.