Sodexo, a leading provider of quality of life services in the higher education sector, has won a £25million, five-year deal to provide retail catering, vending, fine-dining and hospitality services across eight locations at Brunel University’s main Uxbridge campus.

The deal, one of the largest of its type within the university market, sees the Sodexo team provide vibrant retail catering and hospitality services to almost 18,000 students and university staff every day. Internationally inspired menus have been created by a dedicated culinary team who have experience of meeting the needs of a diverse campus community.

A range of high street and bespoke food concepts will be implemented on campus in 2013 with a focus on fresh food, sustainability and delivering an excellent customer experience via an eclectic mix of outlets. Fresh street food, Mexican takeaway, continental style cafés with healthy options available throughout will all form part of the overall foodservice that has been designed to offer a diverse range of experiences on campus.

In a separate agreement and in partnership with the Union of Brunel Students, Sodexo has introduced a full Subway franchise. The outlet has exceeded all trading expectations and already ranks in the top five of Subway’s UK sales volume.

“Brunel University’s Chief Operating Officer, Paul Thomas, stated: “We are very pleased to welcome Sodexo as part of the wider ‘Brunel family’ and looked forward to working with the company to enhance the catering provision on campus. The recent addition of high street brand names, such as Subway, to the campus has been very well received, especially by the student body, and we hope to continue to build on that early success.”

A unique aspect of the new contract is the Sodexo Scholarship programme which will focus on improving the student experience by providing scholarship funds based on hardship, environmental stewardship, and community engagement. Also planned are work placements, visiting lecturers and student study tours to other countries in order to exchange best practice. Student engagement and communication has been at the forefront in planning the new services and from a zero starting position, the new catering services have attracted over 2,000 friends and followers through various social media platforms.

Jane Bristow, managing director for Sodexo Education, said: “This is a very significant contract win, and we are delighted that Brunel University has chosen Sodexo to provide all its catering and hospitality services.

“We are currently developing exciting new and innovative fresh food offers, targeted at providing value and flexibility for students whilst giving the university a unique identity. Key to this approach has been Sodexo’s focus on researching student preferences through the Sodexo University Lifestyle Survey and delivering services through an operational team solely dedicated to the university sector.

“With thousands of students and staff to feed everyday, we look forward to the new challenge and delivering an excellent service.”

Sodexo has more than 50 years’ experience in the university sector and has a healthy portfolio of clients. It has a student-focused approach, which helps it to better understand the needs and desires of its customers and clients in higher education.

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