Student newspaper at NU-Q

The Daily Q

Updated: Qatar Foundation signs new food provider

Lolwa Al Thani and Sara Sarwar

Photo: Neha Rashid

Correction: Sept. 10, 2017

An earlier version of the story incorrectly stated that Qatar Foundation changed food providers because its previous provider, Al Danah, went bankrupt. This is not true and we apologize for the error.

 

Qatar Foundation signed a contract with a new food services provider last week. Integral Food Services is now QF’s official caterer and provider for all of the cafeterias and cafes across Education City, apart from franchised brands, according to Faraz Rauf Tareen, the head of food and nutrition services at QF.

Al Danah was QF’s previous food service contractor, however, the agreement between Al Danah and Qatar Foundation expired at the end of June 2017, according to Nabeel Ali Bin Ali, the general manager of Al Danah Trading & Contracting.

The new contract was only recently finalized. However, as a favor while contract negotiations were still proceeding, Integral Food Services began providing catering at the start of the current semester for university campuses in Education City and the Hamad Bin Khalifa University Student Center. “We’ve prioritized all the facilities which are student places, like student housing, all the branch campuses. At least some food services [have] been mobilized, if not the entire scope,” Tareen said.

Some students are not pleased with the temporary food services. “When you are working all day, all you want to do is to satisfy your hunger, and not only are there limited food options, but they’re not very appetizing either,” said Afra Al-Kuwari, an interior design junior at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar.

Price changes at the cafeterias and cafes have riled some students as well. “One thing that is a bit frustrating is that prices just keep fluctuating badly–you can’t even keep track of them,” said Amina Niksic, a communication junior at Northwestern University in Qatar. “I remember mocha coffee being QR 6, then it went to QR 16 then to QR 14. I don’t think they should be allowed to do this.”

QF has no control over pricing in cafeterias and cafes contractually. As part of the search for a new food services contractor, the cheapest and technically qualified vendors are awarded the contract, Tareen said.

With the previous vendor, a buffet ticket at university cafeterias cost QR 26. This price will remain fixed, Tareen clarified. The buffet pricing also will remain the same at student housing cafeterias: QR 25 for students who reside in the dorms. However, the walk-in price of a buffet ticket for non-residents has increased from QR 28 to QR 30. The price of a buffet ticket covers one full meal per person from the buffet selection.

Regarding possible price changes at the stand-alone cafes located throughout Education City, Tareen said such information is not yet available because the contract is brand new. “Frankly, I don’t believe there should be much of a change from the previous contractor,” he added.

For now, Integral Food Services is providing its catering to QF under their Kids Kanteen concept, intended for children and teenagers. Students awaiting formal catering services to come into effect can expect to see developments after Eid break. “What you will see after September 10 is a more formal approach to services because they will be officially taking over it,” Tareen said.

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Student newspaper at NU-Q
Updated: Qatar Foundation signs new food provider