Community announcement regarding UMaine Dining Services
Dear UMaine community members,
To expand UMaine’s multifaceted dining services on campus, including enhancements to residential and retail options for students and concessions for athletics patrons, the University of Maine is entering into a partnership with Sodexo, a nationally recognized food service provider now serving the other University of Maine System universities.
UMaine’s partnership with Sodexo will be shaped with broad campus community input. The terms of a final agreement with Sodexo will be negotiated by both parties during the spring semester. The priority will be service to our students and the campus, and protecting the rights and needs of current employees in Dining Services.
UMaine Dining’s 21 nonrepresented management and supervisory employees will be offered the opportunity to transition to Sodexo on Jan. 1, 2023. Full transition of the 91 represented UMaine Dining Services salaried and hourly employees who opt to transition to Sodexo will occur by July 1. All employees will be offered commensurate positions with Sodexo.
The employment of nearly 130 UMaine students in Dining Services will be unaffected this academic year. After July 1, student employees will be hired by Sodexo.
The decision to outsource UMaine dining services follows a formal review of University of Maine Dining Services, conducted by an independent consulting firm to identify opportunities to optimize value and expand food service.
For years, the dedicated staff members of UMaine Dining have operated a successful, high-quality program that has reinvested dollars annually into the university. Sodexo has committed to significant investments in UMaine over the next four years, including capital improvements to our residential and retail dining facilities, and catering and concessions venues.
Entering this partnership with Sodexo will modernize our dining facilities, address the recent staffing shortage, and greatly expand student access to dining venues. Sodexo has assured the continuation of high-quality products and services, access to much greater national purchasing power, and management of pressures on the workforce, all of which will positively impact the overall financial viability of campus dining.
The university will be engaging in discussions with appropriate labor groups, employees directly involved with Dining Services, and the campus community.
UMaine students and other university community members will be invited to offer feedback and suggestions, and engage in town halls and focus groups to gain insight into their expectations of service level, local food options and dining venue quality.
Sodexo already provides food service to the other six universities in the University of Maine System, including UMaine’s regional campus, the University of Maine at Machias. The company also serves many universities nationwide.
With your input, UMaine also will have a partnership with Sodexo that will elevate the student dining experience in campus retail opportunities, and modernize the dining venues. If you have questions, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vice President for Finance and Chief Business Officer