JRI to Provide All Food Service at KWU

Kansas Wesleyan University and JRI Hospitality, whose name is already on the stadium inside the school’s Graves Family Sports Complex, are expanding their partnership. JRI, which among other things owns and operates more than 80 restaurants, including Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, Mokas Cafe, The Original Grande, and Chompie’s Restaurant along with the Salina Country Club, will take over all food service at KWU.

Beginning with the fall semester JRI will handle food services at KWU’s Bieber Dining Hall, inside KWU’s Student Activities Center, and all concession stands.

JRI CEO and Founder Jason Ingermanson says college cafeterias will not be a new business model. This will be the only one they operate, solely focusing on Kansas Wesleyan and the Salina community, where they always try to give back as much as possible.

Kevin O’Brien will be the food services manager. He says he is very excited about the new venture. They plan on using as much locally grown fresh food as possible, in a farm to table effort. O’Brien, who has been working on menus for months, says he will be very accessible, welcoming any input and ideas.

KWU President Dr. Matt Thompson says the new partnership will enhance the student experience on campus everyday.  “The most intimate thing we do for students is where they sleep and where they eat,” he said.

The food service announcement continues what has been a memorable spring semester at KWU, which started with record enrollment.

In January students moved into Coyote Village, the university’s newest student housing. The seven small homes mark KWU’s first newly constructed student housing in nearly six decades. Each contains apartment-style living, including private bedrooms, a kitchen, two bathrooms and laundry facilities.

The university’s two new Criminal Justice facilities – the Jack Wilson Forensic CSI Lab and the Jack Wilson Criminal Justice Experiential Learning Center, were scheduled to opened early in the semester, as well. The facilities contain the latest in technology, including a top-notch simulator designed to emulate situations that law enforcement officials could encounter in the field.

This coming fall semester will be just as exciting for the KWU community. Along with JRI taking over all food services, a major renovation of Sams Chapel and Pioneer Hall is scheduled to be completed.

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Photo: (from left) KWU President Dr. Matt Thompson announces the new partnership as Jason Ingermanson and Kevin O’Brien look on.