Sodexo has been awarded a three-year contract to provide catering and hospitality services at York St John University.

The £1.3m-a-year deal, which has an option to extend for a further two years, begins in August and will see Sodexo provide catering to 6,500 students across six outlets.

Services will include the university’s main dining facility, a range of cafes and a casual dining concept within the Students’ Union that will be open for extended hours.

As part of the contract, Sodexo will commit to developing some of the university’s existing catering facilities and a number of new roles are planned on campus including that of student experience manager. This position is focused on improving the student experience and promoting catering services through social media, which Sodexo has used to great effect at other university client campuses.

Founded as an education establishment with Church of England traditions in 1841, York St John University’s campus in the centre of York has undergone a £100m transformation over the past ten years.

Paul Anstey, managing director of Sodexo’s commercial education division, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded the contract at York St John University. Sodexo’s approach to understanding the community ethos at the university is centred around understanding the changing lifestyle patterns of students. Conducting video interviews with students and using findings from the Sodexo University Lifestyle Survey, we developed a clear vision for the future of the services on campus.

“York St John University has above average levels of students with a registered disability and is considered to be one of the UK’s leading universities for its approach to diversity and inclusion. In this regard, Sodexo’s own approach to diversity and inclusion proved a strong cultural fit for the university’s strategic leadership team who cited this as key differentiator in the bidding process.”

Emma Wilkins, director of student and staff services, said: “We look forward to this new partnership with Sodexo and view it as an opportunity to further improve our campus facilities for both students and staff.”

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