media release

SFU Burnaby food services enter new era

May 31, 2012

Mark McLaughlin, SFU ancillary services, 778.782.3950,
Dixon Tam, SFU media relations, 778.782.8742,

Big improvements to food services are coming to Simon Fraser University’s Burnaby campus. They include plans for an international food floor in the Mackenzie Café, 24-hour food service in the residence dining hall, and a Starbucks outlet in the West Mall Complex.

Other changes also include:

  • Extended hours of operation in all locations, well into the evenings and weekends;
  • New, healthier and vegetarian foods, and an expanded range of authentic international foods served in the Mackenzie Café;
  • An entirely new campus-wide catering service, with a variety of prices including "student budget pricing." This service will be managed by SFU Meetings, Events and Conference Services (MECS) in an upgraded Diamond Alumni Centre;
  • A move to more healthy-food options in vending machines;
  • Authentic international foods served in an entirely refurbished Discovery I facility that houses the ever-growing Fraser International College;
  • Other new venues in the academic quadrangle to be announced this fall.

"These changes represent an important step forward in fostering a supportive campus environment, a key goal of our new strategic vision,” said SFU President Andrew Petter. “Food services on the Burnaby campus were frequently raised during the envision>SFU consultation process. These improvements respond to that concern, and will help create a more positive work and social environment for students, staff and faculty.”

Mark McLaughlin, executive director of SFU Ancillary Services, says: “The changes are going to be really significant, and reflect what the campus community told us during the two Food for Thought surveys we conducted.

“We had 6,000 people respond to the first survey, and 1,500 talked to us in the second survey. The big concerns expressed were about the value of food services, given the prices. And the ideas people gave us included a wider variety of foods, more international foods, more healthy foods, and extended hours in which food is available.

“We have listened, and these changes will bring SFU and Canadian university dining into a whole new era – I call it Food 2.0."

The changes are reflected in a five-year renewal of the SFU Food Services contract with the Compass Group (Chartwells Canada). That renewal was approved today by SFU’s Board of Governors.

The changes will begin this fall, first at the residence dining hall, and be phased in over a couple of years for the remaining areas. The target for the Starbucks outlet, for example, is 2013.

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