New vendor will offer an all-you-care-to-eat venue at Pelham Commons; university also will implement new structure for catering in the Marvin Center to provide flexibility to university community.
SAGE Dining Services will operate the George Washington University’s two Mount Vernon Campus dining venues and Mount Vernon Campus summer catering beginning June 1, the university announced Monday.
The university’s current provider, Restaurant Associates (RA), announced in December that it would terminate its contract at the end of the current academic year, giving GW the opportunity to implement program changes to enhance flexibility and affordability based on feedback from students and other members of the university community.
SAGE will offer an all-you-care-to-eat venue at Pelham Commons and a la carte offerings at Ames Hall. The company also will have exclusive rights to provide summer catering services on the Mount Vernon Campus.
With the termination of RA’s contract, the university will no longer utilize an exclusive caterer for the Marvin Center. Moving forward, university departments and student organizations hosting events in the Marvin Center will have the opportunity to use a wide variety of caterers for drop-off service and choose from a list of established caterers for full-service catering functions. The university will continue to work with GW groups so that they may choose a caterer that meets their specific needs.
More details regarding administrative procedures for Marvin Center catering will be published this summer.
The addition of the all-you-care-to-eat venue and changes to the catering program came at the request of students and other members of the GW community. Students also were involved in the process of evaluating interested vendors and in selecting SAGE.
“We believe SAGE will provide a personalized approach to dining at the Mount Vernon Campus, and the change in the catering structure at the Marvin Center is responsive to concerns voiced by student groups. This change will give the university an enhanced ability to meet the broad needs of the campus community,” said Alicia Knight, senior associate vice president for operations.
Sophomore Vince Roselli, who serves as the Mount Vernon Campus dining representative, said “welcoming a new dining partner excites me because of the all-you-care-to-eat options and the opportunity to make new friends in the dining hall. SAGE will be a great fit for the Vern.”
In a joint statement, representatives of the Student Association and Residence Hall Association said they are “incredibly optimistic” about the selection of SAGE as a dining provider, adding they “actively participated in the review process” and emphasized the need for a student-centric, sustainable and high-quality food provider.
The representatives added that the SA “successfully advocated for the flexibility students need to continue creating a community on campus through the Marvin Center.”
“Members of the multicultural community will benefit from looser restrictions on caterers and dining providers, allowing them to enhance intercultural understanding by sharing authentic food with the rest of our community,” they wrote.
It is GW’s understanding that RA has notified the union representing its employees of the contract termination. SAGE will be responsible for transitioning existing RA staff at the Mount Vernon Campus to meet the service needs of the Mount Vernon Campus operations.
SAGE, which is headquartered in Lutherville, Md., was established in 1990 and specializes in food services for schools and universities.
“All of us at SAGE are extremely excited to have this opportunity to create an incredible new dining experience at GW. We look forward to serving delicious food cooked from scratch with fresh, local ingredients and to building a partnership based on our sustainable business practices,” said Paco Rodriguez, SAGE co-founder and president.