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SBU selects new food service contractor beginning June 1

Provider Food Contract Service will give students at Southwest Baptist University a fresh culinary experience as the University’s food service contractor beginning June 1.

“Provider will be a key partner with SBU as we transform the entire campus experience for our students,” said Dr. Rick Melson, SBU president and professor of leadership. “The company has a proven record of providing student-first campus dining experiences and is a great missional fit for our University. They are committed to servant leadership and hospitality creating an atmosphere of fellowship and koinonia around the breaking of bread with an emphasis on every guest, every meal, every time.”

Provider is the No. 5 “Best College Food in the Nation,” according to Niche, and the No. 1 contractor-operated program in the nation. Provider also is a licensed provider of Chick-fil-A.

Known for its chef-driven culinary programs, Provider will be introducing its “Small Plates” concept in an all-you-care-to-eat format in the Mellers Dining Commons. Modeled after Spanish Tapas, Provider’s signature presentation of restaurant quality, Small Plates encourages guests to explore and experience a variety of foods, but in smaller, healthier portions. Students will find healthy options, nutritional information, and a clean eats section to meet the needs of all students.

In addition to Mellers Dining Commons, students will have multiple dining options across campus. The current Kaldi’s will be transformed into a Deli-Craft featuring customized sandwiches, soups, and sides, and the Sports Café will become a “Shake Smart” ( offering fresh protein shakes, organic acai bowls and a variety of healthy food options including wraps and grain bowls. In addition, a market will be added for easy grab-and-go meals. All of these dining options will be included in the student meal plan.

Initial renovations and new technology are scheduled for summer 2022 to provide a better atmosphere and state-of-the-art experience, with more extensive renovations planned in the future.

“We are honored to join Southwest Baptist University,” said Rodney Couch, Founder, and CEO of Provider Contract Food Service. “We are humbled by the opportunity to transform the campus food service and look forward to supporting Southwest Baptist University’s vision to be the exemplar Christian university, providing a transformative and holistic educational experience.”

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