Metz Culinary Management will begin servicing Florida A&M students under a five-year contract starting Jan. 2.
When the Sodexo contract ends in December, Magic Johnson Sub Connection, WOW CafÃ© & Wingery, and Jazzman’s CafÃ© will no longer remain on campus. However, Tropical Smoothie and Pizza Hut will remain.
Although plans are still being made, Starbucks, Wingstop and Chik-fil-A may replace Sodexo’s dining venues. A plan to bring a T.G.I. Friday’s to campus is still being discussed with the university as administrators attempt to secure space.
Byron Williams, the director of business auxiliary services, recommended Metz over Aramark. Williams said he based his decision on criteria in the proposal, which included site visits, reference checks and a financial package that Metz proposed to contribute approximately $4.6 million dollars in capital investments and renovations and up to $4 million worth of scholarships across the life of the contract.
“We want FAMU to have the premier dining service operation in the United States,” Williams said. “We want to bring the best and be the best.”
Williams was also a member of the negotiation committee that evaluated Aramark and Metz.
All new food providers will not begin operation on FAMU’s campus next semester. Renovations and construction are slated for completion by next fall, when 90 percent of food services will be in place.
Students will have the opportunity to take surveys providing feedback on which brands they would prefer at the university. Some restaurants that may be included are Jersey Mikes, Jimmy John’s and Firehouse Subs.
Students should look for the survey electronically and through Student Government Association’s social media.
“This is for you,” said Rebecca Brown, the interim assistant vice president of business and auxiliary services. “This is your experience. This is your university.
“We do this for you. You will be in good hands with Metz. They will add a higher quality to the university.”
Meal plan prices will remain the same until the next school year. There will be three new meal plan opportunities for students. The first is a plan for seven days a week that will allow students to eat unlimited in the upstairs cafeteria with $25 in Rattler bucks.
The second is a five-day meal plan with $75 in Rattler bucks. The third meal plan option includes nine meals a week with $200 in Rattler bucks.
To balance Rattler bucks, there is meal equivalency. Students can go into any retail establishment with a meal and swipe for up to $6.25 up to three times a day. Commuter meal plans will remain the same.
Rose Marie Goolsby, a second-year biology pre-med student from Atlanta, said she believes the university did not listen to the students’ voices when making a decision about the food service provider.
“Metz may have better food, but the prices are what is really going to affect the students,” Goolsby said. “FAMU cannot afford to have Metz. Students struggle enough with buying meal plans. Now the prices will be higher.”
Metz signed a five-year contract with the option to renew an additional five years if the partnership goes as planned.
“Food is food,” said Junior Aristide, a second-year economic student from Miami. “I’m pleased that they’re working to provide outside services. It shows they really want the best for us. As long as it follows through, I see no harm.”