University to pick new book, food vendors by this month

Sodexo and Barnes & Noble are among a group of finalists in the running for new five-year dining service and bookstore contracts that University of Detroit Mercy officials will hand out later this month. 

The three dining service candidates remaining include Sodexo, Aramark and Metz Culinary Management, according to Alysa Jackson, director of University Services. She said bookstore finalists include Barnes & Noble, Follett and BBA Solutions.

Both groups recently submitted final proposals to a panel of students, staff and university officials, who will make a decision on both by the end of November.

“We are working hard to make the best decision we can for the university,” Jackson said.

The current 10-year contracts for Sodexo and Barnes & Noble will be up in June, and the new contracts will be in place for the start of next school year.  

Sodexo, the company that has been providing Detroit Mercy students and staff with meal options for more than 20 years, offered a proposal that included renovation plans for the Titan-To-Go store in Shiple Hall; the Dental and Law School cafes, and portions of The Loft, according to Sodexo manager Randy Fowler. 

Aramark, which calls its food services division Campus Dish, provides meals for students and staff at Grand Valley State University and Central Michigan University, among others.

Metz Culinary Management provides food services to many K-12 school districts across the nation, as well as a few out-of-state colleges and universities, like Florida A&M University and Misericordia University in Pennsylvania.

Employees at Barnes & Noble, which has been catering to Detroit Mercy’s book and merchandise needs for more than ten years, hope that they have done a good job over the years.

The other two hopeful booksellers in the running for the bookstore contract are Follett and BBA Solutions. Follett serves Michigan State University, Central Michigan University, Eastern Michigan University, Western Michigan University and others.

BBA Solutions is the primary bookseller of East-West University, Hollins University and Mount Saint Mary College.