Pitt Dining transition to Compass moving forward despite shutdown


Pitt Dining was already planning to transition from its 29-year partner, Sodexo, later this summer on the Pittsburgh campus, but the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed some of the transition processes to the Internet.

So far, the British-based Compass Group has worked with Pitt Dining remotely to finalize terms and dining options, along with mapping out timelines and layouts for the transition, said University spokesman Kevin Zwick. The transition will happen over the next few months as Sodexo’s contract expires on June 30. 

Compass Group’s North American headquarters are in Charlotte, N.C. The company provides services at 300 colleges and universities in the U.S. with its more than 280,000 employees.

Sodexo, which has the Oakland campus’ largest number of contract employees, laid off between 400 and 500 employees when Pitt shuttered buildings in March because of the pandemic. There were 173 students affected by the layoffs, but Pitt will offer them support through a stipend.  

It’s unclear exactly how many contract workers currently are on campus since the number shifts constantly to meet the University’s needs, Zwick said. Contractors have downsized their workforce to levels typical in the summer.

The locations that Compass will manage include the two main student dining halls — Market Central at Litchfield Towers and The Perch at Sutherland Hall — Forbes Street Market, and other smaller cafes and coffee stands in Pitt buildings.

No changes are planned for Forbes Street Market, Zwick said, but Market To Go in the basement of Litchfield Towers may be reviewed and refurbished when the campus opens again.

Donovan Harrell is a writer for the University Times. Reach him at dharrell@pitt.edu or 412-383-9905.


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