Food Services Review Process

Update: Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Queen’s awards Aramark new foodservices management contract

Queen’s is pleased to announce that Aramark Canada has been awarded a new multi-year foodservices management contract for the provision of food services to students, employees, and visitors on campus through its three residence dining halls, 23 retail food service venues, catering services, and the Donald Gordon Hotel and Conference Centre. The contract comes into effect July 1, 2020.

Aramark was selected through an open and competitive Request for Proposal bidding process, and their proposal was approved by the Board of Trustees at its May 9, 2020 meeting.

“We are very pleased and excited to welcome Aramark to the university to manage the day-to-day operations of our food services,” said Leah Wales, Executive Director, Housing and Ancillary Services. “Together, we will continue to focus on healthy, quality food options our students value such as variety, allergy concerns, cultural authenticity, vegetarian and vegan options, Fair Trade products, and agricultural sustainability.”

The change impacts approximately 650 employees on campus. The majority of workers are members of CUPE Local 229 and will stay on to work with Aramark, who will be reaching out to workers shortly to provide them with details around this transition. The current foodservices management provider, Sodexo, has already informed workers of the pending changeover.

“I also want to thank our outgoing provider, Sodexo, which has been an amazing partner for many years, and we wish them every success in the future,” added Wales. “They have had a lasting and positive impact on the student experience at Queen’s.”

Students, employees, and visitors will recognize many of the same great staff and can expect to see continued improvements in quality and diversity of food offerings, refreshed physical facilities, and a strong commitment to local food suppliers and wellness programs, including a new teaching kitchen within the renovated Leonard Dining Hall.   

Queen’s has always sourced a portion of its food from local producers and will continue to do so. The university purchases fresh produce from over 27 farms in Ontario and Quebec – more if you factor in eggs, dairy, and meat.

Suppliers such as Burnbrae Farms supplies approximately 1 million free-run eggs each year, and Wilton Cheese is sourced in Odessa, just 28 kilometers away. This commitment to sourcing from local producers is even more important as the region recovers from the impacts of economic shutdowns related to COVID-19.


Queen’s University has agreements in place with contract management companies to provide services to students, staff and visitors on campus through a variety of outlets including residence dining halls, retail food service venues and catering services as well as the management and operation of the Donald Gordon Conference Centre. These agreements are due to expire in June 2020. Kaizen Foodservice Planning & Design was engaged by Queen’s University in October 2018 to provide a current state assessment, facilitate campus research, and document potential opportunities and best practices to consider for the next agreement. The first phase of work consisted of a strategic review and analysis of the current operations and market research. Focus groups and an on-line survey were conducted in the winter term (2019) to gather input and feedback from the community on current dining hall and retail operations. Findings of the Strategic Review and Analysis phase have been summarized and presented to the Food Service Review Consultative Group.

In the fall of 2019, the University will issue a public Request for Proposals for the delivery of food services on campus. Proposals will be reviewed and evaluated, and a recommendation is expected to be made to the Board of Trustees for approval in May 2020.

Food Service Review Consultative Group Membership: Executive Director, Housing and Ancillary Services

  • Associate Director, Housing and Ancillary Services
  • Manager of Finance, Housing and Ancillary Services
  • Representative from the Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Student Affairs
  • Procurement Services Project Lead
  • Representative from Student Wellness
  • Residence Society Representative
  • Four Student Representatives
  • Alma Mater Society
  • Society of Graduate and Professional Students
  • Queen’s University Faculty Association
  • Queen’s Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 229
  • Residence Life
  • Representatives from Event Services

Consultation Findings Executive Summary

Appendix R Dining

Customer Research Findings

Appendix Q

Dietitian & Allergy Appointment Buy Flex $
& Off-Campus Meal Plans