Chartwells replaces Sodexo


A student is served at Christman Dining Commons last spring. Sodexo will no longer be providing food services to Youngstown State University when Chartwells takes over on July 1. Jambar file photo.

The Youngstown State University Dining Committee appointed Chartwells to become the next food vendor.

On Tuesday, the committee brought the choice of Chartwells to the Youngstown State University Board of Trustees to inform them of their final decision.

However, the committee was not required to bring the decision to the Board of Trustees. Jack Fahey, vice president of student affairs, said he wanted to inform them of the decision.

“In recent months, the Board has wanted to be more involved in university decisions. This was a very important decision, and we wanted to respect the Board’s wishes,” Fahey said.

In a letter of recommendation to Fahey, the YSU Dining Committee explains that commitment, options, meal plans and finances are the reasons for the Chartwells decision.

In Chartwells’ proposal, they introduced a program that includes bringing in national brands, such as Chick-fil-A, Jamba Juice and Starbucks.

The Dunkin’ Donuts and Denny’s Express already on campus will be taken over by Chartwells.

Matt Novotny, executive director of student services, said he is excited about Chartwells’ ideas that they are bringing to YSU.

“Chartwells spent a lot of time on campus talking to people, and they did a lot of student research on campus. They also had a very student-centered presentation, setting them apart from the other vendors,” Novotny said. “Now, our number one goal is getting them in place for July 1.”

Novotny said he is also looking forward to Chartwells’ new ideas for Christman Dining Commons.

“Christman’s will be installing a ventilation system allowing for more cooking upfront. They will also be installing digital menu signs,” Novotny said.

Chartwells will also be adding a community feel to its Christman’s after dark program.

“They will have movies, Wii tournaments and fun exciting foods that students will choose,” Novotny said. “Chartwells wants to build a community and really inspire housing and resident life here on campus.”

Novotny also added that Chartwells is making sure that all locations on campus will remain open.

One of these locations is the satellite on the bridge over Wick Avenue. Here, there will be a PB&J My Way. There will also be an Outtake at all satellite locations on campus. Outtake is a quick, grab-and-go style salad and sandwich shop.

Lance Nave, a junior majoring in communications, said he looks forward to a healthier option on campus.

“I don’t really care about Chick-fil-A coming to YSU,” Nave said. “But I am, however, looking forward to Jamba Juice and other healthy locations that are coming to campus.”

Harry Meshel, YSU trustee, said he is against the decision of choosing Chartwells as the next caterer of YSU. Meshel explained that in year one, Chartwells forecasts $249,000 in produce commission. In year two, Chartwells forecasts $375,000 in produce commission, which is almost a 50 percent increase.

“How do they plan on a 50 percent increase? This means there will be an increase every year after year two,” Meshel said.

Meshel added that misleading statements are the reason for his concerns with Chartwells.

“If they guaranteed the 50 percent increase, it would be one thing, but no one has made an official guarantee,” Meshel said.