To better serve its customers and in honor of Vegan World Day on June 21st, ARAMARK (NYSE:RMK), a worldwide provider of managed services, has increased its number of vegan menu items on campuses and continues to work with campus vegetarian and vegan resource groups to meet customer demand.
Just4U(TM) Healthy Menu Program Caters to Student Preferences
ARAMARK's innovative and award-winning Just4U(TM) healthy menu program provides chefs dozens of flavor-packed vegan recipes along with the tools to train staff and the menu identifiers to direct customers that have made the program popular at more than two dozen universities, as well as businesses and hospitals, across the country. Just4U(TM) recipes and identifiers showcase Low Fat, Cal Smart, Carb Counter, Heart Healthy, Vegetarian and Vegan meals created by chefs and nutritionally tested by dietitians.
"Our DiningStyles(TM) research has demonstrated that demand for vegan is especially strong among college students, as 24 percent of students indicated that vegan dishes were important to them," said Jenifer Bland-Campbell, MS, RD, Senior Director of Nutritional Program Development for ARAMARK. "With Just4U(TM) we're able to customize our menu mix to reflect how students eat on each campus and offer foods that fit into their own dining style."
"Just4U(TM) debuted in June 2004, and we have since added approximately 220 vegan and vegetarian recipes to the lineup," said Mike Crane, ARAMARK Corporate Executive Chef and Senior Director of Culinary Development. "We've created vegan items such as Sweet Thai Tofu Stir-Fry, Broccoli Teriyaki, Eggless "Egg" Salad, and Vegan "Cheese" Burgers to name a few." Each dish contains flavorful meat or cheese alternatives, made from soy or other vegan products.
Training chefs and food servers for vegan dishes is critical and focuses on close inspection of ingredient labels, proper separation of ingredients during storage, preparation and service to protect against contact with animal-based products, and designation of utensils as "for vegan only" to give customers confidence in the meals being served.
Innovative ARAMARK Dining Programs Integrate Vegan Selections
ARAMARK Education, Dining Services provides managed services to over 400 institutions of higher education across the country. As the interest in vegan offerings increase, more and more universities are featuring vegan menu items.
For instance, students at the University of Pennsylvania are being treated to vegan items in their residential dining facilities. Menu items range from salad bars with vegetarian protein options, pasta dishes and desserts, including the popular Vegan Carrot Cake with Tofutti Cream Cheese Icing. At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's new Rams Head Center, a station dubbed, Lean & Green hosts a full salad and fruit bar, soups, and made-to-order vegetarian and vegan selections. The on-campus grocery store at The George Washington University features an organic and vegan-vegetarian section and Wesleyan University in Connecticut is home to the First Harvest Vegan Cafe, a "green" food bar that provides a wide selection of vegan and organic offerings and incorporates local sustainable foods.
ARAMARK Corporation is a world leader in providing award-winning food and facilities management services to health care institutions, universities and school districts, stadiums and arenas, international and domestic corporations, as well as providing uniform and career apparel. ARAMARK was ranked number one in its industry in the 2005 FORTUNE 500 survey and was also named one of "America's Most Admired Companies" by FORTUNE magazine in 2005, consistently ranking since 1998 as one of the top three most admired companies in its industry as evaluated by peers. Headquartered in Philadelphia, ARAMARK has approximately 242,500 employees serving clients in 20 countries.