Not a single college in the United States can say they have a Chipotle restaurant on campus. Within the next year, Fordham University has a great chance of becoming the first.
Sodexo, the dining provider for Fordham, recently signed a new 10-year contract with the university. Sodexo received flack from students and faculty alike over the past few years because of “poor food quality” and a last-place finish on the Princeton Review’s assessment of dining services at some of the nation’s top institutions. As a result, the higher-ups at Sodexo pulled out all the stops with the new 10-year pact.
Not only did Sodexo improve the quality of the Marketplace—affectionately referred to as the “caf,” Sodexo also added name brand restaurants to other locations on campus. The Rose Hill campus has added Auntie Anne’s, Jamba Juice, Panda Express and Cosi since the end of last May and has plans to add even more as early as next August. However, Chipotle would be the biggest addition of them all.
Deming Yaun, the university’s dining contract liaison, is confident Chipote will happen. “We’re excited. The Grill location has already been set aside as the potential location and architects are already working on plans to get more seating in the space. The current arrangement meets Chipotle’s needs in terms of kitchen and serving size. We need more seating.”
If architects are already working on floor plans for the location, then it would appear as if the chances of Sodexo luring in Chipotle are pretty high. The Grill, of course, is a Fordham favorite located just outside of O’Hare Hall. While the buffalo chicken wrap will be missed, the benefits of having Chipotle should help mend the wound.
Yaun says Sodexo will waste no time discussing the addition if approved by Chipotle’s governing board:
“If they accept our proposal, then they’re here. We’ve entered the negotiations with the intent of bringing them to Rose Hill. We want it to happen.”
Having a Chipotle restaurant campus would work towards improving Sodexo’s reputation on campus and in the collegiate world. It would also promote a positive vibe on campus, though, and that’s arguably the most important thing.
Ben Alcorn, FCRH 2015, is both a Chipotle aficionado and Fordham enthusiast. He doesn’t see any reason why Chipotle wouldn’t be an outstanding addition.
“Chipotle is the best burrito place around, if you ask me,” Alcorn said. “I’ll probably never eat in the caf again when it opens.”
Making the Fordham community both happy and proud seems to be the goals of Sodexo’s most recent plan of attack. Management within the company was out of touch with the student body recently, but Sodexo decided to hire several graduates of the university to be a direct contact between those who eat and those who serve. Justin LaCoursiere, a recent graduate, is one of Sodexo’s newest employees. While he was unable to comment on anything beyond what Yaun had described, he confirmed the rumors.
It’s never a good idea to start counting your chickens before they hatch, but it seems like a safe bet that Chipotle will be on the Rose Hill campus sometime soon. With so much positivity surrounding the talks, it’s hard not to envision the Grill becoming everyone’s favorite Mexican restaurant.
At this point, the next question to be addressed will be: burrito or bowl?