Dining services will change its provider next month for the first time in over a decade.
“This partnership will bring two Capital Region institutions together and offer quality food and exceptional service in a college setting, something new to Mazzone Hospitality,” said Angelo Mazzone, owner of Mazzone Hospitality.
The Faculty Student Association chose Prime Business Dining, a division of Mazzone Hospitality, earlier in April. Mazzone Hospitality was selected out of two dining services looking to replace Chartwells.
“I loved every single solitary thing [about Mazzone],” said student Senate vice president Bryce Kirk, member of the FSA board of directors.
Chartwells will leave the campus on May 20. The company originally planned to leave four days prior to their current date. Although PBD will officially begin working with the college in June, the new dining service plans to cater events after Chartwells exits the cafeteria.
Last year, the FSA declined a proposal by Chartwells that would give full-vendor control over food service management. At the time, Chartwells was failing to meet revenue goals.
After the contract offer was declined, Chartwells decided to leave the college. By February, the FSA started seeking bids for new food providers. Request-for-proposals were received last March.
According to Ann Carrozza, director of the FSA, PBD was selected based off of higher qualities of food that Chartwells was lacking. She believes the new vendor will improve customer service and food quality in the cafeteria.
“I have not been pleased with some of the customer service of late here,” said Carrozza.
Prices are higher for select items such as cookies. During the month-long process, visiting one of PBD’s current sites, Carrozza believes the cost between menu items and Chartwells prices are outweighed by the new vendor’s quality.
“It’s very similar to what our students experience, but the quality is on quite another level,” she said.
Along with the quality, Carrozza was attracted to the new vendor’s 20-minute proximity to the college. Hudson Valley food service has not been under contract with a regional provider since Prestige Vending Services ran campus dining in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s.
“Our students, faculty and staff are looking forward to new food options and ideas that Mazzone will bring to campus, and we’re especially proud to work with a company that has deep local roots and a commitment to our community,” said President Drew Matonak in a statement.
Unlike Chartwells, which is a subsidiary of the British multinational Compass Group, Mazzone Hospitality is based in Clifton Park and only operates around Capital Region. Currently, PBD operates in GlobalFoundries in Malta and Price Chopper’s headquarters in Schenectady.
Although Mazzone Hospitality started over two decades ago, the company has only recently started working in higher education. The deal with Hudson Valley will mark Mazzone Hospitality’s first time working in community college dining. Last August, the company partnered with Excelsior College in Albany.
Student Senate vice president elect Stephen Pelletier hopes the new food service provider’s dive into higher education will encourage longer dining service hours in the Campus Center cafeteria. Currently, the Campus Center cafeteria closes at 2 p.m.
He said that many non-traditional students have suggested extending cafeteria hours during both of his Senate campaigns.
“Depending on who comes to take their spot, I would try to make sure that their hours are longer so we can offer the same opportunities to night students as we have for day students,” said Pelletier.
According to the FSA, hours were discussed during the bidding process. Carrozza mentioned possibly moving a food cart to the BTC to serve night students.