UMES partners with Virginia-based food service company
Hospitality will manage campus dining beginning in July
PRINCESS ANNE, MD - (May 12, 2014) – The Maryland Board of
Public Works has approved a contract between UMES and Thompson HospitalityServices LLC that gives the company the green light to manage the university’s
food services beginning in July.
The five-year deal calls for the
Reston, Va.-based company to provide “student board meals, retail sales,
internal and external catering and concessions.”
Thompson also committed to
“in-kind dining facilities renovations and upgrades,” including space for one
or more retail food outlets and upscale venues for alumni and recruitment
“We are honored the University of
Maryland Eastern Shore chose us to be its food service partner, and very
excited to begin serving the UMES community”, said Warren M. Thompson,
President and Chairman of Thompson Hospitality. “Our team has experienced
‘Hawkspitality’ first-hand, and we look forward to building upon the fine
foundation that UMES Dining has established and helping to take your program to
the next level.”
President Juliette B. Bell said,
"I am very pleased with the new options that Thompson Hospitality Services
brings for providing high quality food services to the UMES community.
This is an opportunity to enhance the campus dining experience for
Students increasingly have
expressed a desire to have a broader range of dining options, including food
that falls in the category of “healthy eating,” administrators said.
As part of ongoing reviews of
campus operations, the university administration last fall began weighing the
pros and cons of continuing to provide food service in-house or switching to a
A campus committee studied
proposals from three companies and recommended the university pursue a change,
which required approval of the University System of Maryland’s (USM) governing
board and the Board of Public Works.
The change means students in
UMES’ Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management will see up-close how
private-sector, for-profit businesses operate.
The company pledged to provide
“access to our network of corporate clients for employment and internship
opportunities. We are particularly excited about working with your
award-winning Hospitality program," Thompson said.
UMES employs 80 food service
workers, 70 of whom are “contingent” or contractual employees responsible for
serving approximately 1,700 students.
“Our food service workers are
among the university’s most dedicated and hard-working employees,” President
Bell said. “We appreciate what they do for our campus community.”
Current workers will have the
option of interviewing for positions Thompson needs to fill, and the company
will match wages at the time the bid was submitted for those who are hired in a
Thompson, which bills itself as
the country’s “largest minority-owned food service” company, has food service
contracts with 20 historically black institutions, including Morgan State,
Bowie State and Norfolk State universities.
director, Office of Public Relations, (410)