Aramark: Food With a Side of Ethics


The company that stood out to me on the list of The World’s Most Ethical Companies was ARAMARK. ARAMARK is a food services company and was the company who provided dining services for my high school. I was curious what ARAMARK had done to earn its spot on the WME (World’s Most Ethical) list. As a food services company, I would imagine ARAMARK has many opportunities to both give back to their community, through providing food or services to the less fortunate, while also having opportunities to cut corners to save money, by skimping on food and sanitary regulations.

I decided to look at ARAMARK’s Mission Statement and see how it matched up with what I could find about their operations. The Mission Statement is as follows:

“Because we value our relationships, we treat customers as long-term partners, and each other with candor and respect. Because we succeed through performance, we encourage the entrepreneur in each of us, and work always to improve our service. Because we thrive on growth, we seek new markets and new opportunities, and we innovate to get and keep customers. And because we’re ARAMARK, we do everything with integrity.”

After digging for information, ARAMARK seems to be doing a lot to try and benefit the community, and is really trying to make a name for themselves as an ethical corporation. ARAMARK has made a company-wide volunteer program to rebuild community centers and provide support for wellness and and nutrition education, promotes trayless dining to help reduce waste, has pledged to reduce the amount of fat, sugar, and salt in their meals, and has called for a 70-80% increase in tomato picker wages. I was happy to see that the company that I paid to feed me for my four years at high school making a real attempt to make a difference in the community and environment as a whole. ARAMARK seems to have set a mission statement focused on all of their stakeholders, and has been holding true to its mission statement in that regard.

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4 thoughts on “Aramark: Food With a Side of Ethics”

  1. I think it is interesting that you chose Aramark, because a friend of mine interned at Aramark in Philadelphia last summer. He came away with a similar impression to the one you have gotten from investigating Aramark further. He said the company really valued their customers, and did not seem to cut corners at all. As a food services company, Aramark has many enormous customers, such as high schools, colleges, and even Citizens Bank Park, home of the Philadelphia Phillies. As a result, it seems like Aramark is almost forced to act with integrity, as the company would be in big trouble if a few of its major customers took their business elsewhere.

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  2. I think the fact that the company works directly with students feeds into their charitable nature. Education is closely linked with sustainability and ethics; if a company like Aramark was to neglect these, then their foundation would be unstable. This makes me think of a documentary I saw on Illinois school systems and what kids were being fed at schools. It focused on high fat content foods and the fact that children were more likely to choose ice cream over salad. Im glad that Aramark is addressing health issues and the obesity epidemic in the United States.

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  3. It does seem to me that Aramark is truly doing good for the local community while not cutting corners elsewhere. What I found interesting was that some of the actions that Aramark was doing would in a sense be against their profitability-for example, campaigning to increase the wages of tomato pickers would probably increase the cost of tomatoes, which increases Aramark’s cost, lowering their profits. Is Aramark a publicly owned company whose shareholders have simply agreed that this is a good course of action or is it a private enterprise following their management’s vision?

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  4. I think that it’s great to see that a company you’ve done business with is doing a lot to make a difference. Not only are they trying to help students by making their food healthier, but also acting in a manner that is environmentally friendly. This blog post makes me wonder now if my high school catering service has taken any of these strides towards being a stakeholder friendly company.

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