Fairfield University Dining Services changed its food suppliers from Sodexo to Aramark over the summer leading into the 2021-2022 academic year.
Assistant Vice President for Auxiliary Services Matthew Dinnan offered insight into how and why this change occurred. He stated that Aramark “provided us with the opportunity to look critically at long term and short terms and plan accordingly.”
“We wanted to better position ourselves to prepare for what the food service needs for students not only this year, but three years, or five years from now will be,” he continued.
One of the big changes is the opportunity for students to order ahead using the Transact Mobile Ordering app.
Mobile ordering is currently available at the Dunkin’ Donuts inside the Barone Campus Center and at the Stag Snack Bar. Students will be able to use mobile ordering at The Levee soon as well.
The transition to Aramark began over the summer, and many students have shared positive reviews about the food options since the switch.
Junior Eliza Hogan expressed favorable sentiments in the shift of dining this year compared to last year.
“More stations are open, so the options aren’t as limited,” she said. “The quality has improved too.”
Hogan is gluten free, and said that last year she was “disappointed in the lack of allergen-friendly options in the [Daniel and Grace Tully Dining Commons ].”
“The Tully didn’t have many stations open last year, so it was especially difficult as a gluten-free student to find good options,” she said. “A lot of us would have the same meal for dinner — mainly Tex Mex — over and over again.”
Junior Carolyn McDermott also pointed out that she rarely dined at the Tully last year given the limited choices and sometimes to-go only options.
“It is hard for me to know if the Tully was the way it was last year because of COVID-19, or if that’s what it was typically like, but I was not very impressed with the food last year,” she said. “First Semester was rough as COVID-19 precautions really limited dining options in regards to food choices and seating options,” she continued, “I was frequently DoorDashing, ordering via Uber Eats, and living off of microwave mac and cheese, so I hardly used any meal swipes.”
McDermott added that she is “very pleased” thus far in the dining experience this year
“It seems that the change in food vendors has been a very positive change for students,” McDermott stated. “I enjoy eating at the Tully this year!”
Sophomore Alaina Tarallo echoed Hogan’s sentiments about a “lack of enthusiasm about the food last year compared to this year.”
“I thought last year it was slim pickings — I thought it was a little bit barren,” she said. “This is definitely an improvement.”