Aramark has announced its acquisition of privately held Good Uncle, an app-based on-demand food delivery service operating in the college market that brings freshly prepared, restaurant-quality meals to conveniently located pickup points around campuses. Currently, Good Uncle operates in three markets: Syracuse (Syracuse University) and Hamilton (Colgate University), N.Y., and College Park, Md., (University of Maryland) whereas Aramark operates at more than 400 campuses nationwide.
“We are pleased to welcome the Good Uncle team to the Aramark family,” said Aramark Chairman/President/CEO Eric Foss in a prepared statement announcing the deal. “As consumer dining habits evolve, we’re continually looking for new ways to disrupt the marketplace with innovative services. Good Uncle strengthens our ability to offer quality and convenience through services that allow our college consumers to order restaurant-quality food and have it delivered when and where they want it on campus.”
Good Uncle’s current model is based on delivering its own unique menu options—which emphasize fresh, healthy ingredients and fresh preparation—prepared in its own production kitchens to campuses in competition with existing campus dining offerings. How—or if—that approach will integrate with Aramark-operated campus dining operations is yet to be determined, but in announcing the acquisition, Aramark did state that Good Uncle will operate independently and maintain its unique brand identity.
Launched in 2016 at Syracuse University, Good Uncle utilizes centralized production and a fleet of specially equipped vehicles to deliver its meals to popular spots on and off campus, including all major campus dorms as well as Greek chapter houses, study areas and off-campus apartment buildings. Students sign up for a 15-week semester’s worth of meals at a time and receive credits at the beginning of each week of the semester (except Thanksgiving in the fall and spring break in the spring), with unused credits rolling over week to week but needing to be used by semester’s end.