Azusa Pacific considers having Bon Appetit take over Dining Services

Azusa Pacific has been in conversation with Bon Appétit about using their services next year to revamp on-campus dining. Bon Appétit is an on-site restaurant company that manages food services at more than 1,000 venues in 33 states, including universities. They work with several colleges in Southern California and may take over APU’s Dining Services.

The university was supposed to sign a contract with Bon Appétit in mid-April, but the deadline has been pushed back to late-May.

APU is looking to outsource Dining Services because student and faculty satisfaction have been at a low rate recently, said Hannah Hernandez, the student services senator for APU’s Student Government Association (SGA).

According to the SGA student survey, 38.7 percent of students were unhappy with their dining services experience. Bon Appétit would look to fix this satisfaction level.

“We will teach you how to taste food and if you are not proud of it, we don’t want to serve it,” said Jessica Reeves, a district manager at Bon Appétit.

Hernandez said that new processes will be implemented and there might be a way to order food from your phone and pick it up at the dining hall in the future.

“The on-campus food wasn’t what I wanted it to be,” Hernandez said.  

Bon Appétit catered the announcement event of APU’s new president on April 10, providing free food for students. Hernandez attended the event and said the food was delicious.

“We’re really excited to be here and to work with student employment,” said Cary Wheeland, the senior vice president of Bon Appétit.

Wheeland and Hernandez said Bon Appétit’s presence on campus won’t lead to any loss of student employment, but it might open new opportunities to students, if it is approved.

Hernandez said that having Bon Appétit on campus could also lead to students being hired at Bon Appétit after they graduate.

According to Wheelend, Bon Appétit considers themselves guests on campus and student voices matter to them because without the approval of students, they are unsuccessful.

Students will be able to give Bon Appétit feedback through four different channels, according to Reeves. The logistics of this will be figured out once the contract is signed.

“With the times changing and with people eating healthier, I feel Bon Appétit will take that issue head on and have healthier food options for us,” Hernandez said.

Wheeland said hours of operation will most likely stay the same; however, the menus will probably change, with the exception of Starbucks on East Campus. New training will be  implemented in the fall.

Mark Dickerson, the senior vice president of APU, said they are still working out the details of policies. Hernandez said that the contract will most likely be signed and the new policies enacted over the summer.

“Bon Appétit is a professional firm while Dining Services is a conglomerate, so I feel that overall things will go smoothly,” Hernandez said.

Wheeland said Bon Appétit hopes to get the keys by Aug. 1.

ZU News will provide an update when the contract is signed.