Last Thursday, Hopkins students received an email from Bill Connor, Director of Dining Programs, announcing the kick-off of the JHU Dining Amnesty Program.
The JHU Dining Amnesty Program, originating from the severe depletion of dining-ware inventory, calls on students to return any items that they might have borrowed from the dining facilities.
“[There is] a need for the return of any items that have been borrowed from the dining hall,” Connor wrote in an email to The News-Letter. “We are at a crucially low point in our inventory of silverware, dishware and cups.”
Connor especially elaborated on the dire situation that Nolan’s on 33rd faces.
“Nolan’s has had so much silverware disappear over the course of the semester that we are forced to offer only disposable silverware until the end of the semester,” Connor wrote.
Connor hopes this plea will catalyze the return of missing dining-ware, the absence of which has caused the dining program to struggle to keep locations fully functioning.
“Our goal is to offer a great dining program to the entire JHU community and we are having a hard time right now because of the shortage of dishware, silverware and cups,” Connor wrote.
Bon Appétit will replace Aramark as dining service provider for Hopkins after the latter’s seven-year stint as the University’s exclusive food provider. Though the terms of the contract between Bon Appétit and the University are not fully settled at this time, a timeline of five years has been proposed.
Connor noted that this is the first changeover in service that he has seen since his promotion to his current position. Before Aramark, the school used Sodexo as its food service provider.
“It is a normal part of business to change dining contractors over time,” Connor wrote.
A committee was formed as Aramark’s contract ended to review the companies vying for the job at Hopkins. After viewing presentations, receiving bids and venturing further through operational visits to other institutions serviced by Bon Appétit, this group selected the aforementioned brand because it appeared to offer the most suitable services for Hopkins.
“Bon Appétit was the best fit for our community and had the most to contribute to the dining program,” Connor wrote.
Norman Zwagil, the Bon Appétit Management Company Resident District Manager in charge of the brand’s operations at Hopkins shared similar sentiments to those of Connor. He noted that while the business will definitely be the replacement service provider, the details of its implementations are still being finalized.
“We’re still in the formative stages for everything, but we’re on campus now meeting with everyone,” Zwagil said.
Though many aspects of this conversion currently remain uncertain, it has been decided that all of the workers tied to Aramark will be able to keep their jobs. Should they choose to retain their current employment, these workers will then most likely be trained by Bon Appétit, their new employer.
“The current dining associates have the opportunity to continue employment, if they so choose to,” Conner wrote. “I am sure that there will be a training for the associates by Bon Appétit but this area has not yet been defined.”
Zwagil has hope Bon Appétit, as the new contractor, will build a modern and comprehensive dining program for Hopkins, fully satisfying the University’s students.
On its own website, Bon Appétit Management Company offers a look at its business, as well as its vision for how it wishes to fulfill its job.
“[Bon Appétit Management Company] provides café and catering services to corporations, colleges and universities, and specialty venues,” it reads. “We do this in a socially responsible manner for the well being of our guests, communities and the environment.”
One of the major changes that will come along with this transition is the replacement of Einstein Bros Bagels with an alternate breakfast cafe. Connor assured Hopkins students, however, that Bon Appétit will bring a café to the space with a menu similar to that of Einstein Bros Bagels.
“[We] have every intention to offer a similar breakfast menu to what is currently available,” Connor wrote. “We understand the importance of the breakfast and coffee options that Einstein’s is able to offer and assure you that it will continue in the future.”
Though a great deal needs to be finalized before the start of the fall semester in the new academic year, Zwagil expressed his excitement to be working with Hopkins.
“We’ll be fully up-and-running by the fall,” he said. “We’re really excited to take over the dining program at Hopkins.”
At this time, both Bon Appétit and the Dining Program of Hopkins encouraged students to be on the lookout for updates in the coming months.
“We will share the details of the dining program for the fall over the course of the summer,” Connor wrote. “We plan to put information in multiple media outlets to include: e-mail, publications, social media and our website.”