Bon Appétit offers sustainable dining for Lawrence

Lindsey Ahlen

Starting next fall, Bon Appétit, a sustainable food service, will provide dining services on campus. Bonte;tit is a restaurant company that provides catering services to corporations, cultural institutions and colleges and universities such as Carleton College and Macalaster College.
Greg Griffin, chair of the evaluation committee for the selection of new dining services, spoke highly of Bon Appétit.” [Bon Appétit’s goals] most closely aligned with what the Lawrence community desired in campus dining in the new Warch Campus Center,” Griffin said.
The evaluation committee wanted to secure sustainable and enjoyable options for on-campus dining. It considered several companies, including A’viands, Food Services Inc. and Sodexo.
“Bon Appétit also proposed a stronger relationship with SLUG, a greater commitment to local sourcing of food, and had the best commitment to sustainable dining practices,” Griffin said.
The menu for Bon Appétit will include fresh foods and ingredients, meaning no frozen or prepared foods.
“The menus will be based on seasonality and availability of regional fresh products,” Griffin said.
Additionally, the turkey breast and chicken used will be produced without the use of antibiotics, and the hamburgers will be made with fresh ground chuck from cattle raised on vegetarian hormone-free feed. The milk will be free of antibiotics and artificial bovine growth hormones. There will be ample vegetarian and vegan options as well.
Bon Appétit will accept student suggestions regarding the menu. According to Griffin, almost all of the food will be made in front of the students, so they can make suggestions to the chefs.
Other committees, including the student welfare committee and SLUG helped make the decision. According to spokespersons from these committees, they support Bon Appétit as the choice for Lawrence University food service and say other universities have received high ratings for Bon Appétit’s services.
“Bon Appétit will serve all dining facilities including the cafe, the coffee shop, the convenience store – called the C-store – catering and vending, as well as the all-you-can-eat dining hall,” Griffin said.
Several changes will be made next year as a result of the new dining service provider, including a rehiring process for dining service staff.
“Bon Appétit is committed to retaining 100 percent of the hourly staff in some capacity,” Griffin said. “The combination of a new facility, expanded hours, and a whole new way of preparing and serving food has long meant that actual jobs will change. There will be some new hires; Bon Appétit expects to need a larger workforce than we currently have in place.”
Other changes to dining services include hours and pricing. Bon Appétit plans to provide food from 7:30 a.m. until 1:30 a.m. seven days a week, with a 10 a.m. opening Saturdays and Sundays. All four outlets will be open seven days a week with full professional staffing.
The price for the meal plan for 2009-2010 will be $1,240 per term; the current meal plan cost $1,151.
“Students will have a choice and expanded flexibility,” Griffin said. “All meal plan options allow you to roll over missed meals or unused dining money to the next term.”
According to Steve Flynn of the student welfare committee, the new meal plan will be more expensive but will also be more flexible for students.
“The choice you have is how you allocate your dining dollars,” Flynn said.More information about Bon Appétit can be found on the company’s Web site at http://www.bamco.com/.

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