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Students share reactions to Aramark’s split from Miami

Josh Russell (left) and Mia Wazgar (right) enjoy a meal at Wester Dining Commons.
Josh Russell (left) and Mia Wazgar (right) enjoy a meal at Wester Dining Commons.

On Sep. 22, news broke that Miami University would officially end its contract with Aramark, the company in charge of dining services, by the end of this academic year.

This decision came as a shock to many as Aramark has made so many changes to the on-campus food this semester, with the reopened Bell Tower and Panera. The reason for the split is still unannounced. 

“The food is OK, but I feel like the market food has gone downhill and was better before Aramark came,” said Josh Russell, a junior majoring in middle childhood education. One change to the market food instilled by Aramark was the King Street sandwiches, salads and other choices that can be exchanged for a meal swipe.

Katie Brand, a sophomore majoring in healthcare sales and public health, said she’s worried about what this may mean moving forward.

“I was surprised to hear the news about Aramark and I think it is good and bad,” Brand said. “I’m scared the food will get worse.”

Brand began to attend Miami University the same semester that Aramark joined, fall 2022, so she hasn’t seen what Miami has offered in past years. Last year, she ate at Martin Dining Commons, and she said Maplestreet Commons’ food quality this year is much better.

“I really like the soups this year. They’re fire, but I think the dining hall fries got saltier,” Brand said.

For Mia Wazgar, a junior primary education major and Aramark employee, a return to pre-Aramark days may not be a bad thing.

“There was more variety and healthy options,” Wazgar said. “It was different every day at the dining halls.”

 In the spring of 2022 and this fall, Aramark has made notable differences in the dining halls. In Western Dining commons what used to be a “Global Kitchen” station was turned into solely Greek food. In addition, an Indian, Mexican and Asian station were added to Maple dining commons. These options do seem exciting at first, but there is not much day-to-day variety between the options being served. 

“I never have hopes for the Miami food to improve,” Russell said in terms of his hopes for a new food provider in the coming semesters.

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