Changes are on the menu for state workers who patronize the cafeterias serving the Capitol and the Empire State Plaza Concourse.
The current operator of the eateries, Sodexo USA, is poised to depart in November.
State Office of General Services spokeswoman Heather Groll confirmed in an email that Sodexo has a contract through late November, and that “we are looking forward to announcing new food service options for the Empire State Plaza in the near future.”
The fate of Sodexo’s employees remains unclear. The state Department of Labor lists the Albany operation as having 128 workers who are about to lose their jobs due to a contract loss.
The federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act requires companies with 100 or more employees to provide notice 60 days ahead of plant closings or mass layoffs. Sodexo’s WARN notice cites a closing date of Nov. 3.
Officials at the Maryland-based company and representatives of Workers United, the union that includes Sodexo’s local employees, couldn’t be reached Thursday.
The state has been soliciting bids for food service operators at the Capitol complex for some time. The cafe and bakery Au Bon Pain recently took over two locations on the concourse.
According to OGS documents aimed at potential bidders, the cafeterias and kitchens serve a customer population of more than 10,000 people, and include opportunities for catering events as well as retail service.
The agency says it is open to new dining options or approaches in the cafeteria spaces.
“Responders are encouraged,” the notice says, “to offer their ideas and recommendations for how this location and others can be redesigned and redeveloped to provide new concepts and choices in the foods and beverages that will be offered in the future.”
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