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Compass on Campus

August 8, 2018

After an extensive evaluation and considerable collaboration with all units responsible for food service on campus, a new contract has been awarded to Compass Group.  We would like to thank both Aramark and Sodexo for their strong partnership with Northwestern over the last several years.

Compass Group welcomed its first diners Sunday, July 1. A list of frequently asked transition questions has been compiled, including how to contact Compass to arrange for catering. To view the FAQs, learn more about the bid process, and exciting next steps, visit the Food Service webpage.  To ensure a smooth transition, Compass is honoring Sodexo’s catering menu, commitments, and pricing through mid-September.

For assistance with any catering needs please contact or 224.234.8110

Food Service Bid Process

This was a lengthy, comprehensive, thoughtful, and fair process.  The award recommendation was based on a best-value assessment of the following key aspects of each vendor's proposal.

Compass Group demonstrated their capabilities and commitment to deliver. They scored highest on all key steps in the process, including how it conducted its focus group, quality of their initial proposal, evaluation committee presentation, tasting event, site visit, and best and final offer. It proposed a corporate-level relationship to facilitate implementation of a creative, custom, Northwestern-specific solution that will deliver a premier, campus-wide, best-in-class food service program that leverages each of their individual units indicated below:

  • Chartwells and Bon Appétit for campus dining, Student Affairs retail, Chicago campus retail, catering
  • Levy for Athletics concessions, training table, and premium hospitality
  • FLIK for conference center services at the Kellogg Allen Center, retail at the Global Hub, catering
  • Canteen for vending
  • Thompson's Hospitality to facilitate diversity and inclusion

Northwestern expects Compass to deliver a food service program that will truly set Northwestern apart from other universities, one that reflects the following:

  • High-quality food
  • Excellent service and premium hospitality
  • Creative concepts, including a mix of national, regional, and Compass Group brands
  • Experienced leadership and key personnel
  • Commitment to retaining current staff
  • Commitment to affordability
  • Progressive technology
  • Award-winning chefs
  • Implementation of sustainability strategies, including minimizing food insecurity
  • Establishment of several local and diverse vendor partnerships

For questions about this contract please contact Sheila Watkins, Procurement Administrator, at or 1.8125

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