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Local_Restaurant_Row_Healthcare_Account_2.png Aramark
One major ongoing Aramark initiative across multiple onsite markets is Local Restaurant Row, a technology-enabled guest restaurant finder and management platform designed to promote alliances with local businesses.

Aramark sees revenues rebound in 2022

The U.S. Food & Support Services unit realized a 47.3% increase in revenues in fiscal year 2022 over fiscal year 2021 while revenues from the unit’s foodservice operations jumped 56.5% over the same period.

Aramark’s U.S. Food & Support Services (USFSS) unit saw a huge 47.3% jump in fiscal year 2022 revenues over fiscal year 2021 as the company emerged from the pandemic. Revenues from foodservice operations for the unit increased by an even larger 56.5%, from $5.22 billion to $8.17 billion over the same period.

Contributing to that result was some $400 million in net new business, which was more than 40% higher than fiscal 2021 and about 20 times greater than fiscal 2019, according to the company’s 2022 annual report, which also cited a number of other factors. These included the introduction of innovative culinary offerings, technological advances, and enhanced dining spaces in the K-12 and college/university markets, high attendance levels in the Sports + Entertainment and Destinations units, accelerated return-to-office behavior in B&I and increased patient and retail activity in the Healthcare+ unit.

Among major initiatives undertaken by Aramark’s USFSS unit over the past year, the K-12 unit, under the newly branded identity Aramark Student Nutrition, rolled out a number of LTO concepts to entice students during the 2022-23 school year. It included special promotions and events designed to create excitement and introduce new and different recipes to students with monthly special menu offerings and at least twice monthly special events for holidays, spirit days, themes, and national food days.

The school nutrition program is being aided by the Aramark Student Nutrition Culinary Alliance, which brings together some of Aramark’s K-12 chef talent from across the country to strategize and collaborate with one another, share best practices, and gather insights from different schools and regions across the country. All members of the Culinary Alliance are classically trained chefs with international food service experience, and the group includes restaurateurs, Certified Research Chefs and CIA-certified Pro Chefs.

For college clients, the newly named Aramark Collegiate Hospitality unit enhanced its sustainability and global flavor offerings for the 2022-23 academic year, making it easier for customers to choose climate-friendly foods through the expansion of its Cool Food Meals platform. The Cool Food Meals badge identifies dishes with a lower carbon footprint and is appearing on more than 350 menu items at participating schools.

Earlier, it introduced a new retail branded concept for colleges called B+F, which features choices such as 100% Angus beef burgers, grilled or crispy chicken, vegetarian black bean and Beyond® burgers, breakfast sandwiches and local favorites that can be customized to each customer’s preference.

The availability of Cool Food Meals is aligned with Aramark’s announcement last June that it is the first food service company in the U.S. to sign WRI’s Cool Food Pledge, which commits it to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with the food it serves in the U.S. by 25% by 2030 and that 44% of its residential dining menu offerings at more than 250 colleges and universities will be plant-based.

The Cool Food Pledge commitment was part of the 2022 Be Well. Do Well. Progress Report Aramark released in early 2023 that included an update on its global environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) performance. In the report, the company shared the progress it has made on its diversity, community building, climate, food and worker safety, responsible sourcing, and waste reduction programs and initiatives, among other topics.

Also for colleges, Aramark expanded its Allergen Safety Program to nearly 90 universities. The program, which raisies awareness, provides accredited training and advances the company’s handling and auditing processes at every step from storage to service, was awarded the AllerTrain 2022 award for Best Overall Food Allergy Program for Universities, by AllerTrain, the food allergen accredited training course it employs to make sure its food service staff and managers are equipped to address food allergies across operations.

In February 2023, the Healthcare unit announced an exclusive new partnership with the Healthcare Plus Solutions Group (HPSG) as part of the Aramark Healthcare+ strategy launched in early 2022 to build a world class patient experience organization to improve hospital outcomes. HPSG will develop coaching and training to build skills for patient interaction that will give Aramark Healthcare+ managers and front-line associates the expertise to support nursing units and help improve patient care.

Another major ongoing initiative, which extends across various markets, is Local Restaurant Row, a technology-enabled guest restaurant finder and management platform designed to promote alliances with local businesses. The growth and popularity of the program has given rise to the first Local Restaurant Row Awards honoring innovative restaurant and food truck partners that have performed exceptionally across several categories, so this past January Aramark announced a slate of winners chosen from more than 750 Local Restaurant Row partners currently in the program.

Another example of an alliance with a commercial figure is Aramark partnering with Chef Grace Ramirez to launch La Latina Cocina, an authentic Latin cuisine concept, at seven higher education residential dining locations at the end of Women’s History Month last year.

Meanwhile, the Sports + Entertainment unit, which had formed a strategic collaboration with Starr Restaurants in 2021, last June announced a new sit-down restaurant concept that opened last October in the Wells Fargo Center arena in Philadelphia, marking the partnership’s first full-scale restaurant project as part of the strategic collaboration.

Tech innovation has played a major role in Aramark initiatives over the past year through moves like opening a second Zippin-powered Ice House Express store in Houston’s NRG Stadium, and testing the latest innovation in food locker delivery systems at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh in collaboration with Cargill food pickup system Chekt.

Aramark also partnered with Instacart at the start of the 2022 Major League Baseball season to take checkout technology out to the ball game, deploying the new Caper Counter POS system at Boston's Fenway Park. For the 2022 NFL season, Aramark’s AI-powered, grab-and-go models were paired with Mashgin smart-checkout devices in the new Drink Mkt at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis and the multiple Walk Thru Bru stands and two C-Town Eats locations at First Energy Stadium in Cleveland.

Acrisure Stadium, Empower Field at Mile High, GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, NRG Stadium, Paycor Stadium, and M&T Bank Stadium will feature Mashgin and Caper Counter express, touchless checkout systems, allowing guests to set, scan and go.

Point of sale wasn’t the only area Aramark has deployed technology. When K-12 and college students returned to school last fall, it was to smarter buildings, thanks to a technology platform the company developed called Aramark Intelligent Workplace Experience, or AIWX Connect, which uses wireless sensors to remotely gather information from building systems and occupant feedback. Schools and colleges can use AIWX to reduce operating costs, decrease energy consumption, enhance service response and improve student’s overall health and safety.

The one major acquisition Aramark made over the past year was an agreement to buy a collection of premier destination properties providing hospitality services throughout North America from National Park Service concessionaire Forever Resorts, in conjunction with a rebrand of its Leisure division to Aramark Destinations. The acquisition substantially strengthened the position of the newly branded business in North America and supports the company’s strategy to grow its portfolio of destinations and cultural attractions across the country as the deal gave Aramark signature properties like Grand Canyon Lodge North Rim, The Lodge at Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Village to add to its national park portfolio.

In other major company news over 2022 was the announcement that the Uniform division, which generated around 16% of revenues in fiscal 2022, will be spun off into an independent, publicly traded company by the end of the 2023 fiscal year.

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