UK Seeking Outside Vendors To Operate Dining Services

Sep 13, 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The University of Kentucky began accepting bids to operate its dining services Thursday. 

The request for proposals would require prospective vendors to fork over between $25 and $50M dollars for new facilities, retain all UK employees at their current pay levels, and present a plan to increase UK’s spending on local products.

The push to outsource and grow UK’s dining services is tied to the expansion of the university’s student housing. With UK’s goal of increasing its enrollment from 5,100 to 9,000, at least five new dining facilities will be needed, according to UK officials.

Bill Harris, UK's purchasing director, says a campus-wide debate led to a number of additional requirements for the vendor, including plans for how to expand UK's spending of $800,000 on produce from Fayette or surrounding counties and $1 million on Kentucky Proud products.

The request also requires inclusion of organic foods.