Texas A&M looks to outsource dining services

Chancellor seeks to reassure staff among worries of layoffs.

Feb. 27—Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp on Saturday sought to reassure university employees who fear losing their jobs under a possible privatization of services, but he offered no guarantee.

Sharp met with the media at the John Connally Building a day after more than 700 workers packed Rudder Theatre on Friday to voice concerns about Sharp's plan to seek proposals for outsourcing much of facilities services and dining services. The chancellor was in Galveston for a prior engagement and did not attend that meeting.

Though Sharp admitted there is no written guarantee that employees will keep their jobs, he told reporters that the staff at A&M will benefit from the change.

"When you are losing a million bucks a year, I would say that the chances are greater that employees will be laid off," Sharp said of the dining services operation.

In examining other universities that have privatized their dining programs, Sharp said, "In almost none of these instances did anyone lose their jobs. They went to work for a private company at same salaries, basically, same benefits, same health care."

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
dress code geeks

Team uniforms are a way we encourage fun. I tell the mangers that every person on your team needs to look like a member of your team, but they can decide together what they want to wear. When the students see a cafeteria person that is matching and having fun with their outfits, they relate to those people better. We don’t want them to look stiff and stuffy.

Menu Development
meatloaf slices plate

“This is the best meatloaf I’ve ever had,” a diner at Alcatel-Lucent telecommunications in Naperville, Ill., once told chef Iraj Fernando. The dish was rooted in a tried-and-true source—the “Betty Crocker Cookbook.”

“I just seasoned the breadcrumbs differently, used fresh parsley and beat the eggs to make them frothier,” says Fernando, executive chef and manager for Southern Foodservice Management.

Consumer interest is up for classic and comforting meat dishes like meatballs (16%), beef pot pie (26%) and meatloaf (12%) for dinner now compared to two years ago, shows...

Ideas and Innovation
oxford school district cafeteria

We have spent considerable money making cafeterias cool again. New paint jobs, crazy color patterns, custom graphics and changes in lighting schemes have made some of our cafes popular gathering places. We’ve also experimented with videos, cable TV programs and music. We involved a number of student groups and student input in improving the atmosphere, especially in our high school and middle school cafeterias.

Ideas and Innovation
kale quinoa salad

With all the hype around probiotics, we decided to create a daily dish that incorporates probiotics in addition to prebiotics. You rarely hear about prebiotics, and this was a great way to highlight how the two work synergistically to maintain a healthy gut. Our chefs have developed menu items such as roasted salmon with yogurt and mint vinaigrette; kale and quinoa salad with warm maple dressing; and leek soup with pickled cucumbers, to name a few.

FSD Resources