Talks to hire another food vendor begin

Current food options low, looming construction completion sparks discussion

By Asma Alkrizy, Staff Writer

When students get hungry there are not a lot of food options at Contra Costa College.

And it will remain so until the Campus Center and Classroom Buildings Project is completed before fall 2016, which is when administration will issue a request for proposal (RFP) to hire food vendors.

Director of Business Services Mariles Magalong said the college will make its (RFP) to hire additional food vendors to prepare for the new buildings.

Magalong said writing the RFP and submitting it to the Contra Costa Community College District is scheduled to begin in January or February.

But as of now, students who are short on time only have options to grab something to eat at Subway, Three Seasons Restaurant or the Bookstore.

“The food vendor selection is a competitive process,” she said. “Any food vendor can submit their application and then the district selects. The selection process is a joined effort between the district and college.”

She said applications should be submitted to CCCCD Senior Buyer Ben Cayabyab, who reviews applications and provides vendors the deadline for submittal.

“It is just like the vendors you see in other universities,” Interim Administrative Assistant Chena McKenzie said. “CCC will have more than one food vendor. So Subway will remain on campus.”

Mariles said the top two or three food vendors must create a presentation that will best reflect the food and service they aim to provide students and agree to a taste test.

Before the demolition of the old buildings for the Campus Center and Classroom Project began, Subway was in the Student Activity Building with a student dining area that provided ample seating. After construction is completed, however, Subway will move into the new Student Activities Building.

Currently, Subway is temporarily housed in a portable adjacent to the Bookstore.

And as fall 2016 nears closer, there will be competition among food vendors vying to serve CCC’s potential 6,500 students alongside Subway — the only external vendor currently contracted by the college.

Magalong said the district originally contracted Subway through the same request process but “because of the restrictions we put on food options, only two food vendors submitted their applications, and one of them subsequently dropped.”

“We were left with Subway, the only vendor that agreed to provide food service for CCC,” she said. “That is why (CCC and the district) will not limit or put any more restrictions on food options for vendors. It’s their choice,” she said.

Some students complain about the limited food and snack options at CCC.

“I got tired of Subway. It felt like you were stuck in a rut, having to eat from the same place for so long,” former ASU senator Jesse Gonzalez said, “It is cool to know (CCC) will be (contracting) new vendors. I prefer tacos, or a food vendor that sells Shawarma and Sambusa.”

Sociology and philosophy double major Shvata Malhotra said, “We should also have more vegetarian food options.”

New food vendors may also provide more places for students to eat, as currently, there are limited spaces to eat, in the small tent and few patio tables near the Bookstore, and in the Three Seasons Restaurant.

The limited space for students to find a welcoming place to eat lunch stems from construction.

“I am really excited for the (possibility of) new food vendors,” anatomy tutor and sonography major Liliana Madrid said. “It would be cool to have some food options by adding places to eat.”