UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — In an effort to consolidate multiple external food service contracts at seven of its Commonwealth Campuses, Penn State has awarded Metz Culinary Management a three-year food services contract to serve those locations.
The contract, awarded after a formal competitive bid process by Penn State Housing and Food Services, encompasses providing food-service operations for cafeterias, cafes, catering services and vending machines at Penn State York, Abington, New Kensington, Fayette, Shenango, DuBois and Lehigh Valley.
The contract with Metz is scheduled to begin on July 1, and the transition will be complete for the start of fall semester 2018 for six of the seven campuses. Penn State Lehigh Valley will transition to use of Metz in time for the beginning of fall semester 2020, a timeline that aligns with a scheduled dining facility renovation at that campus. Commonwealth Campuses with in-house Penn State Food Services will not be affected by this change.
Based in Dallas, Pennsylvania, just outside of Wilkes-Barre, Metz Culinary Management was established in 1994 as a custom on-site management company with a “guest-first” philosophy. The company, recognized as one of the top food service providers in the nation, according to Food Service Management magazine in April 2018, has extensive experience servicing multiple college and university locations across the state.
Following are some highlights the Metz Culinary Management dining program will bring to Penn State campuses:
- Fresh, locally sourced ingredients whenever possible
- A variety of menu choices, including vegetarian, vegan, authentic ethnic selections, and a variety of options for those with special dietary requirements
- A commitment to student and guest wellness with the company’s "Live Well" program
- A commitment to partner in sustainability initiatives on campus, including waste reduction, farm-to-fork initiatives, fair trade, animal welfare, and food rescue partnerships
- Fun and engaging promotions and special events
- Many opportunities for student and guest feedback
“Penn State Food Services’ focus at the Commonwealth Campuses is to continuously improve our programs, leveraging industry standards and best practices and assuring on-trend and quality dining experiences,” said John Papazoglou, associate vice president for Penn State Auxiliary and Business Services.
“We put considerable thought and analysis into the process of selecting a food service contractor for seven of our campuses. We are confident that Metz will provide consistently high-quality food service and create memorable campus dining experiences for all customers,” Papazoglou said.
“Metz Culinary Management is proud to be partnering with Penn State as the dining services provider for several of the non-residential Commonwealth Campuses across the state,” said Jeff Metz, president and CEO. “As a Pennsylvania company with over 3,000 employees throughout the state, I believe this partnership will have mutual benefits as our relationship with the University develops and grows. I am excited to bring our restaurant-inspired hospitality to the students, staff and guests of Penn State University.”
The current external vendors, all with solid records of food service at the campuses, were notified of the transition.
Metz also is committed to integrating current qualified employees who meet background and security requirements and complete the standard employee training process for the culinary and customer service teams.