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New food service provider Compass Group takes over July 1

Allison Hall dining facility
Compass will provide meals that meet Northwestern's diverse needs.

Northwestern University’s new food service partner, Compass Group, will welcome its first diners Sunday, July 1, as the new food service provider takes over Northwestern’s dining program.

Summer campers, conference guests and the campus community will find new menus and other upgrades, including a dedicated dietitian who will focus on meeting special dietary needs.

Compass will assume operation of all aspects of Northwestern dining July 1 except those at Kellogg School of Management. Compass will take over dining at Kellogg starting Sept. 1.

In addition, two temporary restaurants will open at Norris Center on Monday, July 2: Burger 847, which will serve hamburgers, salads and sides, and Build, a build-your-own pizza restaurant. Starting July 9, a food truck from Evanston restaurant La Concinita will be available outside Norris.

All three will serve the Northwestern community through the summer while permanent Norris restaurants — including Juicy Lucy, Asiana Foodville, Budlongs Hot Chicken and MOD Pizza — are under construction. Those restaurants are scheduled to open in late August.

Jim Roberts, senior executive director of division services at Northwestern, said the transition to Compass will include new initiatives that will benefit students, faculty, staff and visitors.

“Throughout the vendor selection process, Northwestern prioritized the ability to expand our program to meet the dietary needs of our students and guests,” Roberts said. “We felt confident Compass Group could meet our expectations, and we are excited our partnership with them is beginning.”

Representatives from Compass said they understand the importance of providing meals that meet the diverse needs of the University’s guests during the school year as well as the summer. 

“We are dedicated to working with guests individually to provide dining experiences that match their lifestyles and dining needs, and we will ensure special dietary offerings are part of the regular menu offerings,” said Lisa Carlson, a registered dietitian with Chartwells Higher Education, within Compass Group. “I am thrilled to be working with the summer camps, and I am looking forward to the school year.”

The University, along with Compass, will launch a comprehensive new dining website which will include menus, nutritional information, feedback channels, hours of operation and updates on upcoming changes. Compass vowed to be transparent about where its food is sourced and how it is prepared.

“We are proud of the food we serve,” said Jennifer Byrdsong, vice president of operations for Chartwells. “We menu by season, cook from scratch and source responsibly. We want our guests to connect with our food and our culinarians.”

Stacey Brown, Northwestern’s director of dining, said that while Compass officially takes over July 1, many of the updgrades will not be visible until fall or beyond.

“Our diners will certainly see changes on July 1, but with the work planned this summer in Norris Center, Sargent Dining Hall and retail locations, our students returning this fall will experience a more dramatically improved dining experience,” Brown said.