When Concordia said ‘sayonara’ to long-time food provider Sodexho and made way for Chartwells, the quality of food and food choice was supposed to improve. In fact, a vast improvement, according to Concordia’s administration office over what Sodexho had provided for 29 years.
But after a year and a half, it may be time to roll up the red carpet, at least at the downtown campus, and start asking some serious questions.
When Chartwells was parachuted into Concordia in June of 2002, after the quick departure of Sodexho, the international food giant expected to be up and running at full capacity by the first day of classes.
By that, Chartwells meant to have the Loyola cafeteria, as well as the Hingston Hall residential lounges, and not the downtown Hall Building cafeteria, ready for student use.
Chartwells was true to their word and dove headfirst into the Loyola project, but gone today is the downtown cafeteria and gone, it seems, according to some students is the quality of the food too.
The progress of the Chartwells downtown operation is a slow and on-going one, especially when compared to the more relatively successful Loyola Campus. So what are they waiting for?
Concordia’s Administrator Patricia Posius is very pleased and believes that Chartwells will only improve.
“This is an important year for us as we have the facilities in full operation. The first year was difficult due to renovations and transition, and we will take stock at the end of the academic year,” she says.
Linda Symonds, the district manager for Chartwells agrees that when the project first started it was a little hectic. “Our biggest challenge with opening [was] having our renovations completed for September . As a matter of fact we weren’t ready and we had to serve food in temporary locations,” she recalls.
Chartwells was viewed as a fresh beginning with new ideas and new locations. But some students and employees are feeling the change and are not too satisfied.
Chartwells provides a grab-and-go caf