Morgan State University and Gaithersburg-based dining services provider Sodexo MAGIC LLC announced Friday a five-year, nearly $45-million agreement on a food services contract beginning with the fall 2020 semester.
As part of the agreement, SodexoMAGIC will install facility upgrades and renovations, technological integrations, a variety of dining options and food locations, student-friendly meal plans and the promise of an overall elevated dining experience to the Baltimore campus.
SodexoMAGIC will be the university’s first new food services provider in 25 years. The new contract began on June 1.
The university received proposals from four of the nation’s leading dining service providers, with SodexoMAGIC, chaired by NBA legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson, emerging with the winning bid. The partnership marks SodexoMAGIC’s first with a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in Maryland.
In addition to providing service to universities, SodexoMAGIC also provides dining and facilities management services to corporate clients that include Delta Airlines, Merck, and the Federal Reserve Bank.
The partnership comes as the result of an inclusive and competitive RFP process that included input from students, faculty and staff. During a three-month period that preceded the call for proposals, University administrators solicited the feedback of Morgan’s campus community and incorporated the responses received into the final RFP. Among the top options and services respondents desired from their next dining services provider were a salad bar, fresh fruit and vegetables, hot breakfast foods, made-to-order sandwiches, guest meal passes, online/mobile ordering, expanded electronic payment and 24-hour dining.
Per the terms of the agreement and through the partnership with SodexoMAGIC, Morgan will see a number of enhancements and additions that include:
- A “Best of Baltimore” food concept package that will bring some of Baltimore City’s best eateries to campus on a rotating basis including Miss Shirley’s Cafe, Famous Chaps Pit Beef, Connie’s Chicken and Waffles and Tarharka Brothers Ice Cream Factory
- The addition of national brands Starbucks, Qdoba Mexican Eats, and Panera Bread. Baba’s Pizza and Halal Shack will also be included among the food options
- Menus will be crafted by SodexoMAGIC’s Chief Culinary Adviser, Executive Chef and Author G. Garvin
- Allergen-friendly meal programs to support vegetarians and other specialized dietary needs
- Convenient food locations throughout Morgan’s 152-acre campus, including food option locations on West and North Campus
- A new mobile app feature for ordering takeout and made-to-order items
- Smart technology vending machines
- Robot food deliveries via Starship
- Contactless payment via Mobile Wallet and seamless campus card and POS system configuration
- Many of the new dining service enhancements will be introduced in phases over the next several semesters. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic a number of changes have been incorporated into the original plans to accommodate student safety needs and social distancing protocols.
With a 51 percent ownership interest by MFP, SodexoMAGIC has been certified as a minority-owned and managed company by the Minority Supplier Development Council and the Southern California Minority Business Development Council, Inc. The joint venture employs more than 6,500 people at approximately 1,500 locations across the U.S. and Canada.