A new company will provide catering for the UvA and HvA restaurants starting January 1. Cormet will be responsible for implementing a new catering concept at both institutions, building a foodcourt on each campus to be operated by different subcontractors.
Cormet signed the new contract with UvA and HvA Tuesday morning, succeeding Eurest as the university caterer after both the UvA and HvA decided to shake up their food offerings. The idea is to replace the classic canteen style catering with American style foodcourts and coffee corners, providing entrepreneurs and students with the opportunity to rent a space as a subcontractor.
Besides presenting the more usual elements of a tender – business plan, business case and transition plan – different caterers over the last six months were asked to include a discount for the universities once the caterer exceeded a specified turnover. ‘We expect the catering company to enjoy a turnover of about 13,5 million euros a year. When it exceed this, we have stipulated that it should pay a “kick-back” bonus,’ Bert Zwiep, the university’s logistics manager, explains. In other words: the catering company will repay a part of the money the universities have paid towards their profits.
Exactly how much this bonus was to be would be determined by the catering companies themselves, with both Cormet and its contender, ‘Journey of Food,’ offering a rate of nine percent. UvA-HvA has not yet specified how Cormet has distinguished itself in the way it presented its food offerings, but conceded that the caterer has demonstrated more ‘entrepreneurship’.
The combined catering contract for the UvA-HvA is one of the largest in the Netherlands. Together, the institutions have about 72,000 students and 9,000 employees, many of which will buy lunch, either to go or dine in, and drink coffee during the day. The caterer will also be responsible for providing drinks and food at the many scientific conferences that are organised in the university’s buildings.
Cormet is already one of the biggest players in catering of schools and universities. It provides food and drinks at Wageningen University, for example, and has won prizes from the ‘Voedingscentrum’ – a government-related institution responsible for educating citizens on a healthy lifestyle for providing healthy food at schools. This time, however, Cormet says it will do more than just provide healthy food. It will align its offering with what is considered ‘trendy’ in the Amsterdam food culture, explains Cormet director Frank Metzelaar.