April 12, 2006
06-068

Charles Harmon Director of University Relations, Sementha Mathews Manager of Public Information and Media Relations, Wendi Gretz Sodexho Regional Marketing (770) 612-0023

Sodexho wins contract for campus dining services

Valdosta State University has awarded Sodexho, Inc., a contract valued at $43 million to operate and manage dining facilities on its campus over the next five years. Sodexho, a leader in food and facilities management services in the United States, was selected from three finalists by a campus selection committee.

"This new partnership will bring with it a $4.1 million investment in our facilities over the next five years," said President Ronald M. Zaccari in his Spring 2006 Convocation Address. "The majority of the funds�$3.2 million�will be directed to the long-awaited renovation of Palms Dining Center."

Renovations are expected to begin this summer. One of the changes that Sodexho will bring to the Palms Dining Center is a customized approach to culinary dining for college students called SoCuisine. It will feature Customenu, concepts and recipes created by Sodexho based on student taste preferences, as indicated through surveys conducted by Sodexho's Student Board of Directors. As well as offering a quality selection of entr�es, SoCuisine intends to create a student-friendly social gathering space.

"Our priority is to give the students healthy, great-tasting food in environments that are familiar and inviting to them," said Aubrey Wooten, Sodexho's senior district manager. "Sodexho's SoCuisine and Customenu has allowed us to seek new and better ways not only to listen to students, but act on what they tell us and give them the services they want�whether that means food with a cultural twist, convenience, social atmosphere and ambiance, or all the above."

Sodexho will begin renovation of the Palms Dining Center by adding several retail and convenient food selections. These include the national sandwich chain, Quiznos�, and Jazzman's� Caf�, one of the fastest growing coffeehouse chains in America. Jazzman's Caf� serves a full line of coffee, espresso and specialty drinks, along with sandwiches, piping hot soups, cool salads, hot-pressed paninis and gourmet baked goods. The Palms Dining Center will also feature a new design with an outdoor patio where students can dine, study, or relax while taking in the sunshine.

"Our goal was to move our Student Dining Services to the next level through outsourcing," said Robert Kellner, director of VSU's Auxiliary Services. "Based on the students' initial reaction that has occurred in the first week, we can't wait for the renovations to see the real impact that Sodexho will bring to our dining services operation."

Sodexho will also create a distinctive dining environment at several locations throughout the campus, such as the Pedestrian Mall, North Campus facilities, Odum Library, and the University Center Food Court.

The University Center Food Court will see some improvements to its food selections, beginning with the additions of SubConnection�, which serves quality deli meats and cheese on freshly baked breads, and Sky Ranch Grill�, a premier burger and grilled chicken concept. The buffet line and the national food chain Chick-fil-A� will continue to provide menu options at the Food Court.

The Oasis at the Education Center will be replaced with Einstein's Bros. Bagels�, and the North Campus will also welcome the addition of an Einstein's Bros. Bagels� kiosk. Odum Library will house the second location of a Jazzman's Caf� on campus to fuel students through the day and night. Another convenient stop for hungry students, faculty and staff will be the addition of mobile food carts in the Pedestrian Mall, making lunchtime especially easy for those on-the-run in between classes and meetings.

"Our goal is to make a successful dining service program for Valdosta State by directly addressing the student's needs," said Wooten. "With several new platforms coming on campus, students will easily be able to find dining locations that fit into their schedules."

Sodexho USA (www.sodexhoUSA.com) is the leading provider of food and facilities management in the United States, with $6.3 billion in annual revenue and 110,000+ employees. Sodexho USA offers innovative outsourcing solutions in food service, housekeeping, grounds keeping, plant operations and maintenance, asset management, and laundry services to more than 6,000 corporations, health care, long term care and retirement centers, schools, college campuses, military and remote sites in North America. Headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md., Sodexho USA proudly serves as the official food service provider for the US Marine Corps.