Sodexo out, Metz in

By the time classes start in the fall of 2017, students at the University of Detroit Mercy will have a new company providing food on campus for the first time in two decades. 

A 14-person panel consisting of students, staff, and administration last month chose Metz Culinary Management to be the new dining services partner, replacing Sodexo.   

Metz is a private, family owned company that works out of Dallas, Penn.  Detroit Mercy will be the first account they will open in Michigan.

“We are very excited to bring new and fresh ideas,” said Maureen Metz, vice president of marketing.

Metz is already planning to shake-up the university dining scene. It hopes to add “Designer Burger,” a brand that offers specialty burgers, chicken sandwiches and salads; update the grill area in The Loft; potentially add a “Poblano’s,” a fast-casual Mexican eatery similar to Chipotle; and renovate the Titan-To-Go store in Shiple. Metz plans to keep Subway in The Loft. 

Metz currently operates a Designer Burger at Florda A&M, and there’s a Poblano’s at Gannon University in Erie, Penn. 

“Nothing is set in stone yet,” said Tamara Batcheller, vice president of facilities management and campus services.  “We are in the very early stages of our transition.”

The Metz team will be on campus in the coming months to prepare for the new partnership and to track traffic flow among dining areas.  

“Our main focus is fresh and diverse food options,” Metz said.  “We understand the needs of students from many diverse backgrounds and the need for variety.”

Students on campus are generally excited for the things Metz plans to bring to Detroit Mercy.

“I’m really excited to see what changes Metz makes to the campus,” said Mario Suarez, a junior chemistry major.  “They have the potential to change the culture around here.” 

Rosanna Reynolds, a five year MBA student in her final year at Detroit Mercy, hopes that Metz will take the time to understand students’ wants and needs.

“I hope they hear our concerns from the past, what we are looking for in the future, and really come in and make an immediate impact on campus.”

Sodexo, Detroit Mercy’s dining partner for the last 20 years, will end their contract on June 30, 2017. The longstanding food provider was among the final three choices for the new contract. 

Officials had pitched a plan that called for renovations to Titan-To-Go, The Loft, and cafes in the Dental and Law Schools.