4/15/20 PMU, Freshens

Purdue has confirmed its retail dining operating agreement with Aramark and detailed further plans for new dining options and staffing opportunities.

The company will operate 35 dining locations on Purdue's West Lafayette campus, according to a Purdue News press release Friday afternoon. The ground floor of the Purdue Memorial Union will also be completely renovated, transforming into the "Purdue Marketplace."

The new food hall will include a restaurant co-owned by alumnus Drew Brees, Walk-On's Sports Bistreaux.

Other new dining options will include Jersey Mike's, Panera Bread, Saladworks, Qdoba Mexican Eats and Firehouse subs. The release did not state where those dining options will be on campus.

Aramark will take over retail dining in early July. The release states that all Purdue employees affected by the transition have been offered a position with Aramark with comparable benefits, overall increase in compensation and a transition bonus.

The deal has a 10-year term with two five-year renewal options, the release says. Part of the agreement means that Aramark will partially finance the PMU basement renovations.

The release did not say how much the contract, which the Exponent requested last week, is worth. But information discussed during an Indiana Commission of Higher Education meeting Thursday indicated Aramark will pay Purdue $25 million for the Union renovation.

Other aspects of the agreement include an offering of "value-driven Retail Dining Memberships with special member benefits," per the release, and job-training resources.

“Aramark has a wealth of experience and submitted a strong proposal when we issued our RFP last fall,” Rob Wynkoop, associate vice president for auxiliary services at Purdue, said in the press release. “We were very focused on a retail solution that brought new and real choices to the retail dining experience on the West Lafayette campus. We are excited to partner with them to bring these high-quality dining options to campus. There will be great options for every palate.”

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