UMaine will outsource campus catering services to a French company

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The University of Maine will outsource its on-campus food services to a private company starting next summer, and more than 100 food service workers will no longer be university employees.

French company Sodexo, which is the catering contractor for Maine’s other six public universities and college campuses across the country, will begin offering catering services at the flagship Orono campus on July 1, 2023, the company announced Wednesday. ‘UMaine.

As part of the new eight-year contract, Sodexo will pay UMaine a $3 million signing bonus and invest $7 million in facility upgrades, according to UMaine spokeswoman Margaret Nagle. .

UMaine employs more than 100 people in its food services, and all will be offered commensurate positions at Sodexo, the university said. The catering staff includes 21 management and supervisory employees who are not represented by a union. The 91 employees represented by a union will be represented by Service and Maintenance Teamsters Union Local 340, which is negotiating a new contract with Sodexo.

Student employees who work in catering will be Sodexo employees after July 1, 2023.

UMaine is contracting catering services after review by an external consulting firm to identify opportunities “to optimize value and expand catering services,” the university said.

As part of the new partnership, Sodexo and UMaine will work together to assess all dining options and facilities on campus to determine where investments should be made, Nagle said.

In September, the the university closed the Wells dining hall and a residence hall due to lower than expected enrollment.

Sawyer Loftus is a journalist covering Old Town, Orono and surrounding areas. A recent graduate of the University of Vermont, Sawyer grew up in Vermont where he worked for Vermont Public Radio, The…

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