University News

Dining services partnership supplies fresh, nutritious food

Dining Services rolls out sustainable ingredients in collaboration with Bon Appétit Management Co.

By
Senior Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Sharpe Refectory will feature expanded menu offerings, including new nutritious options, as well as upgraded service stations and design.

The University has launched a partnership with Bon Appétit Management Company to make dining services more sustainable and enticing, Brown University Dining Services announced on its website Sept. 1.

The “collaboration will focus on expanding menu offerings, enhancing food … at retail locations, augmenting our catering program and providing additional professional development opportunities for Dining Services staff,” said Peter Rossi, director of Dining Services.

Bon Appétit is an on-site restaurant company offering environmentally sound sourcing. All the company’s meals are prepared from scratch, and its website touts the sustainability of its food management strategies.

The company’s philosophy aligns with Dining Services’ goal to provide “flavorful, nutritious options” for students, Rossi said.

A committee of students and staff members selected Bon Appétit after reviewing proposals from multiple vendors, according to the Dining Services website. The process of choosing a partner started earlier this year, and formal interviews with potential vendors were held in late spring, said Christian Hanson ’17, a committee member.

“Bon Appétit recognized that taste is the foundation of great dining service,” Hanson told University communications. “They demonstrated a great attention to detail regarding the selection, sourcing and preparation of ingredients.”

In addition, Bon Appétit stressed partnership, Hanson added. “They did not come with a strict formula for improvement but rather sought to understand what makes Brown dining unique and what changes will really make our students excited about on-campus dining.”

New menu offerings and a variety of options will “focus on fresh, from-scratch cooking techniques,” Rossi said. Menu upgrades include house-made salad dressings and stock and vegan black bean and avocado quesadillas.

The new improvements to the menu come hand in hand with upgrades to the serving stations in the Sharpe Refectory and a new composting initiative, he said. The partnership will not change the cost of meal plans, he added.

Still, for some students, the partnership  went unnoticed as they ate their first meals of the year at the Refectory.

“I really did not notice a difference in food quality,” said Nirvaan Bharany ’19. “You could say it’s slightly better, but not a major upgrade,” he added.

The improvements will take time to be fully implemented, Hanson said, “but I know both Dining Services and Bon Appétit are focused on providing great taste in all their dishes, and I believe this partnership will be a strong step towards this goal.”

Hanson plans to stay on meal plan until he graduates, he said, adding: “That should say something!”