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July 18, 2006

Matt Lindsay: (202) 994-1423;
Tracy Schario: (202) 994-3566;
GWorld Card Office: (202) 994-1795


Sodexho Assumed Full Management and Operational Responsibility for GW Dining Operations on June 1, 2006, and Will Introduce Enhancements

WASHINGTON -- The George Washington University recently announced that it awarded a 10-year contract to Sodexho, Inc., to administer the University's dining operations.  Sodexho assumed full management and operational responsibility for GW Dining operations on June 1, 2006.  In addition to the new Sodexho dining concepts, the University's GWorld Colonial Cash Dining Program will continue to offer students more than 80 on-campus and in-the-city dining partners.

"GW strives to provide students with a variety of options and freedom of choice in dining, and Sodexho's robust retail operation is a good fit for the GW dining model," said Louis Katz, GW executive vice president and treasurer.  "Sodexho produced an impressive proposal with several unique concepts, and we look forward to working with GW students and Sodexho to continue to enhance the GW experience."

"Our ability to successfully manage a high-traffic retail environment makes us the best provider for these services on The George Washington University campus," said John Iacunato, senior vice president for Sodexho, Inc.

Sodexho plans to implement the following changes and enhancements to the GW Dining Program.

Introduction of a Voluntary Dining Plan:
One significant new option will be the availability of voluntary dining plans, which will provide extra value for students who choose to participate in either the 50- or 100-meal All-You-Care-To-Eat dining plans.  Sodexho will offer volunteer dining plans each semester that allow the customer to pay one price for a number of meals that can be eaten in the new J Street Cafe, which will be an all-you-care-to-eat venue located in J Street and Columbian Square food court in the Marvin Center.  The price of the 50- meal dining plan will be $375.00 or $7.50 per meal and the 100-meal plan will be priced at $699.00 or $6.99 per meal.  The 100 meals per semester plan has a lower price per meal and therefore a better value for the customer.  Any unused meals will carry over from the fall into the spring semester, but meals not used by the end of the spring semester will be lost without refund.  Customers may use Colonial Cash, hard currency, check, or credit card to purchase a voluntary dining plan.  Additional details about the program will be distributed to students and their families at Colonial Inauguration and throughout the summer and fall.

A New Venue on the Marvin Center Fifth Floor:
WOW Cafe and Wingery ( will open on the Marvin Center fifth floor.  The restaurant features a menu created by a team of award-winning chefs, offering wraps, oversized salads, Angus burgers on Texas toast, southwest items including quesadillas and fajitas, wings, tenders, and shrimp.  WOW will feature entertainment via big screen high-definition DIRECTV, XM Satellite Radio, and flat screen televisions mounted in each table or booth offering an outstanding satellite sports and entertainment package.  Beer and wine will be served to patrons of age.  The WOW Cafe will create a central to campus destination for fun, entertainment, and good food for students, faculty, staff and alumni.

Enhancing J Street/Marvin Center Offerings:
Even though there will be several venue changes in J Street, the University and Sodexho do not expect significant construction or renovation will be necessary.  Enhancements will be made on a rotating schedule throughout the summer, and those J Street venues not experiencing a facelift will continue operations. 

It is expected that the following changes to J Street will be in place when students return in the fall:

- Wendy's, Einstein Bagels, and Jamba Juice will remain in their current locations.
- J Street Cafe (an all-you-care-to-eat venue) will replace Starbucks.
- Grounds for Change Coffee will be sold in a new Columbian Square venue which will offer a variety of coffees, teas, and specialty drinks.
- District Market will replace Hot n' Not.  District Market will continue to offer an extensive selection of fresh food; organic and natural foods; kosher meals and groceries; gourmet foods; vegan and vegetarian selections; and students' most popular grocery, diary, and health and beauty products.
- Chick Fil-A will replace Salad Garden.
- Quiznos will replace Subway.
- Pandini's will replace Capeesh (Italian dining concept offering pizza, pastas, paninis, and other favorites).
- Cyclone Salads will replace Burrito Express (offering fresh made-to-order salads, fresh juices, and smoothies).
- WOW Cafe and Wingery will open in the fifth floor restaurant of the Marvin Center.  WOW's menu offers appetizers, wings, burgers, big bowl salads, and southwestern entrees in its entertainment-based concept.
- The space currently occupied by the District Market on the ground floor of the Marvin Center will no longer be used as part of the dining program and will be returned to University space, for a purpose yet to be determined.

Mount Vernon Campus and Duques Hall Venues Largely Unchanged:
The operations of Ames Dining Hall on the Mount Vernon Campus will remain largely unchanged for next academic year.  A new coffee concept with a menu similar to that of Java City will replace the Java City locations in Ric and Dawn Duques Hall and at Ames Hall on the Mount Vernon Campus.

Sodexho Manages GW Colonial Catering:
Sodexho assumed responsibility for GW's Catering Department, which provides the catering needs for Colonial Inauguration, University Conference Services, departmental catering, summer groups, and other special events and group activities in the Marvin Center.

Late last year ARAmark informed GW that it planned to exercise its contractual rights to terminate its current contract with the University due to its inability to achieve profitability operating GW's retail-based dining program.  The University subsequently solicited dining services proposals from Sodexho and Compass Group and engaged ARAmark in discussions regarding a potential new proposal.  After reviewing the proposals, the University chose to award its new dining contract to Sodexho, based on Sodexho's overall approach to retail dining, which GW believes will better meet the diverse and changing needs of the University community, as well as the strength of the financial arrangement.  In particular, Sodexho demonstrated a desire to create community on the fifth floor of the Marvin Center through establishment of the new WOW Cafe and Wingery restaurant, which is in line with the University's dining vision of creating social spaces around the campus through creation of new retail venues.  In addition, the University believes Sodexho's all-you-care-to-eat concept in the atrium of J Street will create a unique campus dining and gathering experience central to campus, which will nicely augment the University's retail-based program.  Sodexho agreed to interview all current non-management food service employees and to use best efforts to hire all current employees based on need and evaluation of employee qualifications.

Sodexho USA ( is the leading provider of food and facilities management in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, with $6.3 billion in annual revenue and 120,000+ employees.  Sodexho USA offers innovative outsourcing solutions in food service, housekeeping, grounds keeping, plant operations and maintenance, asset management, and laundry services to more than 6,000 corporations, health care, long term and retirement centers, schools, college campuses, military, and remote sites throughout North America.  Headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md., Sodexho USA proudly serves as the official food service provider for the U.S. Marine Corps.

Located four blocks from the White House, The George Washington University was created by an Act of Congress in 1821. Today, GW is the largest institution of higher education in the nation's capital. The University offers comprehensive programs of undergraduate and graduate liberal arts study as well as degree programs in medicine, public health, law, engineering, education, business, and international affairs. Each year, GW enrolls a diverse population of undergraduate, graduate, and professional students from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and more than 120 countries.

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