The future for SDSU dining


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Avery Starr, Reporter

​​South Dakota State University is canceling its contract with Aramark Food Services by the end of this school year, and the company Sodexo will take its place. Students should expect plenty of changes to the on-campus dining experience to come in the next few years.
One of the biggest changes with this switch in food providers are locations. Qdoba, a Mediterranean bar and a Sushi bar will be coming to campus in the upcoming fall semester. It is undecided where on campus these will be.
Chick-Fil-A, Einstein Bagels, Starbucks and Larson Commons are all staying on campus. The future is not known right about other current dining options with the changing of contracts.
With the change of contracts, there will be a remodel at some of the dining locations. This will take many years to start, but in years 2 and 3 of this new contract, Larson Commons, the C-store below Larsons and the Hansen C-store will get a remodel.
Another change with this new contract is food, as it’s becoming more affordable for students. Associate Vice President for Student Affairs Douglas Wermedal said lowering the prices for students was one vital factor in this change.
Talks are still going on in this deal, so exact numbers are not known now, but administration should have a good idea of how much students should be saving on-campus dining by March, Wermedal said.
One thing that is not expected to change is the Starship food delivery robots that were introduced last semester. While they are currently part of the contract with Aramark, Starship also works with Sodexo.
Wermedal said he was pleased with how the robots were working.
“There was an issue with students not using their flex dollars for the delivery fee, but over the break, we were able to put in the software to allow for students to pay from their meal plan,” he said.
Wermedal also said there have been some issues with the bots getting stuck in the snow, but there have been no major issues with the robots. In the coming weeks, he said, they plan on adding hours students will be able to have the robots deliver food and add locations that students can order from for delivery.
Sodexo is already at Dakota State University. They will soon be the food provider at all six South Dakota public universities.
Sodexo promotes a technological, sustainable and student-conscious food service.
“We have developed an evolutionary mindset, deep consumer insights and a range of innovative services to create dynamic food, hospitality and facilities management programs that align with modern campus’s needs,” Sodexo Universities states on its website.
For now, students and staff have a basic outline of the changes to come; however, more information will be disclosed in the coming months.
“We’re currently working on a greater announcement about our work at South Dakota State University,” Heidi Bullman, Sodexo Public Relations Manager, said.