Marist Dining Services is committed to providing multiple dining opportunities offering diverse menus that feature traditional favorites, ethnic dishes and international cuisines, with an emphasis on obtaining local and regional products. Through sustainable practices and educational programs, we provide opportunities for social interaction and awareness for a healthy and productive lifestyle.
Reimagining the dining experience at Marist
(June 13, 2023) The College recently engaged in an extensive, student-focused review of its dining services to ensure they meet our standards of excellence and are responsive to our students’ needs. We know that a high-quality dining experience, including expansive food and delivery options, promotes student well-being, a sense of belonging, and fuel for academic success. It is pivotal to our students’ college experience, fostering a vibrant campus atmosphere, and forging a strong sense of community.
As such, we searched for a partner who could deliver outstanding food quality, innovative menus, more variety, and top-notch hospitality. Gourmet Dining has been selected as Marist College’s new dining provider. A regionally based and family-operated company, Gourmet is a recognized leader in higher-education food service. They will begin on July 1, 2023.
The Gourmet team will work closely with Marist to introduce new types of dining experiences, food choices, and operational improvements (including expanded hours of service) that were identified through our community’s feedback. We are excited to announce some key elements of this rollout:
- Same Great Staff: Gourmet has agreed to offer employment opportunities to dining staff who wish to remain at Marist, so we hope that you will see many of the same familiar faces in our dining hall and cafes.
- Food Enhancements: Look for delicious and nutritious cuisine made from scratch using wholesome, local, and fresh ingredients, with more international items, like sushi, ramen, and popular street foods.
- Attention to Dietary Restrictions: A new allergy-friendly kitchen will be installed in the main dining hall, supervised by a dedicated campus dietician and executive chef.
Innovative Technology: Gourmet will offer an intuitive meal-ordering app with lockers for quick food pickup.
A New Kind of Corner Store: An Amazon Go store will feature produce, ready-made dinners, meal kits, snacks, and more, at a location to be determined.
New and Improved Spaces: We aim to add four-season dining spaces, warmed patios, and venues that highlight the amazing views of the Hudson, with an emphasis on East Campus and the North End.
Engaging Experiences: You name it – food trucks, farmers markets, local eatery pop-ups – Gourmet is known for active partnerships with local farms, restaurants, and businesses.
Learning and Development: From a hands-on teaching kitchen to student learning experiences in business, hospitality, nutrition, and other areas, this partnership will create career opportunities after students graduate.
Extensive Community Input
The selection of Gourmet was driven with significant input from our students, faculty, and staff. We thank them all for their diligence and dedication to this important process. A large and comprehensive review began last fall and included: a dining survey, Marist community feedback, and evaluation by a Dining Review Committee and a focus group. Representing a cross-section of our campus, the 12-member focus group involved student athletes, resident assistants, international students, students with food allergies, and others. Gourmet was the top pick across the board.
Gourmet knows colleges. With access to global resources through its parent company, Compass Group, Gourmet exclusively works in educational settings, with clients such as Seton Hall, Stevens Institute of Technology, Monmouth, Rowan, and Rider, as well as other institutions.
Finally, it is important to note that sustainability is ingrained in the company’s culture, from sourcing local food and strategic space design to eliminating food waste and adapting practices that promote the well-being of people and the planet. This was an important factor in our decision, as sustainability is part of the College’s long-term strategic priorities.
We thank Sodexo for being Marist’s longtime partner and serving our community well for so many years. Through this new partnership, we look forward to creating a lifetime of memories for our campus community through sharing good food in amazing venues that celebrate the Marist experience.