Chartwells renegotiates food service contract each year

columbine cafe
The Columbine Cafeteria is one of the venues, catered by Chartwells, which provide meals to students at CSU-Pueblo. Photo courtesy of http://auxiliaryservices.colostate-pueblo.edu

Chartwells is under contract with Colorado State University- Pueblo.  The contract is renegotiated each year until 2017.

For the past few years Chartwells has been contracted to provide the food served for campus catering in the Columbine Cafeteria, Café  Libro, the Bistro, La Cantina, Coffee Cart and the Pavilion.

The cafeteria offers a wide variety for students that are on a meal plan. The food ranges from burgers and fries to enchiladas.

La Cantina is a short walk from the cafeteria giving some more options to those who are willing to pay out of pocket. They offer sub sandwiches, Mexican cuisine, snacks such as chips and sodas and pasta choices.

The Café Libro and the Coffee Cart are both located in areas where many students have classes. Café Libro is located in the library and the Coffee Cart in the Life Science Building. Chartwells provides caffeinated beverages and snacks at both of these locations.

The Bistro is located in the Culebra Residence Hall and is available for students in need of a snack and don’t want to walk to the cafeteria.

It is the goal of Chartwells and Auxiliary Services, on campus, to please the students at CSU-Pueblo.

“My thing is to please the students,” Interim Director of Auxiliary Services, Chris Fendrich, said. “Chartwells is moving in the right direction and the food seems okay to me.”

When the contract ends in 2017, Auxiliary Services will look at other bids made by other food service providers, which is protocol.

Fendrich believes the building that the cafeteria is located in is sometimes drafty and cold as well as old and it has affected the dining experience for CSU-Pueblo students

“Students have complained about their food being cold before getting to eat it,” Fendrich said.

This is not the fault of the servers at Chartwell, and Auxiliary Services have done their best to fix this problem by keeping the doors shut as often as possible, as well as offering heated plates to students.

In addition, the atmosphere of the cafeteria is improving. Last semester, booths were added to make students more comfortable. Students are also allowed to serve themselves at the grill station so they can get as larger portions if they would like.

“We are very much listening to the students and implementing what the students have asked for to make the dining experience more enjoyable,” Director of Chartwells Dining Services, Claudia Walters said.

Although there have been some complaints about the price being too high, there are efforts to make dining worth the money. If a student wants something that may not be a regular option, all they would have to do is ask a server for it. For example, a student could ask for vegan or soy items.

“I’m pleased that we are giving more of a vegetarian variety and labeling foods better,” Walters said.

Chartwells has also reinstated the “to go” boxes that allow students to take food back to their rooms.