Chartwells to introduce similar rotating dining service

The concept of Revolve will live on as Trinity makes the switch to new dining provider

Amidst Trinity’s transition from Aramark to Chartwells as dining service provider, the future of many of the food vendors with which students are familiar is up in the air. With each merchant, Chartwells has access to current consumer data to decide on whether or not they will stay on campus. Some vendors are ensured to stay for the next year, whereas others are still to be decided on. As Revolve is an Aramark dining concept, Chartwells plans to make a few changes to the rotating dining option that will take effect next fall.

The group responsible for the decision to take on Chartwells has confirmed the future of Starbucks and Einstein Bros Bagels at Trinity. Anirudan Sivaprakash (Ani Siva), a sophomore biochemistry and molecular biology major, is one of the members of the panel that selected Chartwells and is now advocating for the voices of students.

“Starbucks and Einsteins will be staying,” Siva said. “That is 100% guaranteed, and 100% confirmed. No matter what … Starbucks and Einsteins will be open. We made sure of that.”

The plan is for the future rotating dining services of Chartwells to be located where Freshii currently operates within the Coates Student Center. Moving to this location allows for employees to take advantage of the back-of-house services. This means that, rather than vendors having to bring the bulk of their items pre-prepared, they can instead take advantage of the culinary preparation space and appliances in the Freshii area. The shift should allow for the vendors at the future rotating dining area to hand out higher-quality foods.

This shift was dictated by Chartwells input and the voice of students as represented by Tigers for Ethical Dining (TFED). During this transition, TFED has had students such as Brandon Niday present every step of the way.

Niday, a December graduate with a double major in political science and economics, has actively pushed for this transition since 2020, when TFED went by Tigers Against Aramark. What once began as a 10-page proposal to move away from the current dining provider evolved into a multi-faceted approach to finding a better alternative. Niday acted as an integral part of the Request for Proposal process (RFP) that selected Chartwells.

The RFP pushed for two major areas of improvement with the rotating dining concept: improvements to how vendors handle rushes and more partnerships with local options. Moving the service to where Freshii currently operates is only half of it, as the local outreach is still developing.

“Trying to get these local partnerships to bring really good local food onto campus, trying to diversify the number of options there so we’re not just going to national brands, we can diversify and add some local variety,” Niday said. “A lot of students have been wanting to see that but just haven’t been able to. That’s what we’re trying to do with Revolve specifically.”

Increasing the focus on local connections is something that the administration of Trinity echoes alongside the students. Diana Heeren, associate vice president of finance and co-chair of the dining services RFP committee, shared similar sentiments when it came to Trinity’s future with Chartwells.

“Bringing local restaurants to campus, currently under the name Revolve, has proven to be successful for the Trinity community,” Heeren said. “Chartwells has committed to continuing this tradition. They would like to establish partnerships with small, locally owned businesses that may not have the resources to reach a new audience on their own.”

The future rotating dining concept plans to accommodate the current popular vendors and may potentially partner with Singh’s Vietnamese and Ming’s Chinese, but nothing has been set in stone.

Chartwells’ receptive nature was one of the driving factors for the RFP committee to select them, something that Niday and Siva aim to maintain with TFED going forward. TFED is currently reaching out to all students on campus to relay the student perspective to Chartwells as the shift is ongoing. In the future, TFED is aiming to evolve into the Student Dining Advisory Committee, allowing for continual communication between Chartwells and students.

Students like Siva hope that the combination of data and student voices will allow for a successful partnership between Chartwells and Trinity going forward.

“At the end of the day, everyone wants a good program in hopes that students will want to eat campus food, not just settle for it, but actually want to eat it,” Siva said. “We think we’re taking the right steps to really push that.”