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Not to be confused with Aremark.
Aramark Corporation
Traded as NYSEARMK
Industry Managed services
Founded 1959 (as Automatic Retailers of America)
Headquarters Aramark Tower
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Key people
Davre Davidson, Founder
Joseph Neubauer, Chairman
Eric J. Foss, CEO
Products Managed services
Revenue IncreaseUS$14.832 B (FY 2014)[1]
Increase US$564.56 M (FY2014)[1]
IncreaseUS$148.96 M (FY2014)[1]
Total assets Increase US$10.455 B (FY 2014)[1]
Total equity Increase US$1.718 B (FY 2014)[1]
Number of employees
163,000 (2014)[1]

Aramark Corporation, known commonly as Aramark, is an American foodservice, facilities, and clothing provider supplying businesses, educational institutions, sports facilities, federal and state prisons, and health care institutions. It is headquartered at the Aramark Tower in Center City, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[2] Aramark's revenues reached 13.5 billion USD in 2012 and was listed as the 23rd largest employer on the Fortune 500.[3] Its revenue in 2013 was $13.95 billion, and $14.832 billion in 2014.


Previous logo

Aramark was founded as Davidson Brothers in 1936 by Davre and Henry Davidson.[4] Davidson Brothers began by providing vending services to plant employees in the aviation industry in Southern California.

In 1959, Davre Davidson partnered with William Fishman to establish ARA (Automatic Retailers of America), which became publicly traded a year later in 1960.

In 1968, ARA provided services at the Mexico City Olympic Games, the first of 16 Games they have serviced, including Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008.[5]

In 1969, ARA officially became ARA Services, to reflect its growing range of businesses.

In 1983, Joseph Neubauer was elected CEO of ARA Services and a year later, in 1984, Neubauer led a group of executives to fend off a hostile takeover bid by coordinating a management buyout.[6]

ARA Services changed its name to Aramark in 1994.[7]

In 2001, Aramark returned to the New York Stock Exchange as a public company under the RMK ticker.[8] In 2006, a group of investors led by Neubauer (and including CCMP Capital, Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, Thomas H. Lee Partners, and Warburg Pincus) proposed the acquisition of all outstanding shares of the Aramark Corporation, which was approved by shareholders. The merger was completed in 2007.[9][10]

In 2004, Aramark acquired a 90% stake in the Irish catering company Campbell Catering.

In July 2009, Aramark and the Colorado Rockies opened what is believed to be the first gluten-free concession stand in major league baseball.[11] By 2010, Aramark made gluten-free foods available at all 12 of its major league baseball accounts.[12]

On August 29, 2011 Green Mountain Coffee Roasters sold Van Houtte USA (Filterfresh) to Aramark for $145 million.[13][14]

In May 2012, Aramark announced that its Board of Directors had elected Eric J. Foss as CEO and that Joseph Neubauer would remain the company's Chairman.[15] In December 2014, Joseph Neubauer announced his retirement and Foss was elected as the company's next chairman.[16]

Global operations[edit]

Aramark provides food and facility services to thousands of clients in 22 countries, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Chile, Ireland and Spain. Those services include:

  • Business and Industry: Business dining services include management of on-site restaurants, catering, convenience stores, and executive dining rooms. Other services include coffee, vending and facility management.
  • Sports and Entertainment: At sports, entertainment, and recreational facilities, including national parks, Aramark provides concessions, banquet and catering services, retail, merchandise and novelty sales, recreational and lodging services and facilities management.
Aramark uniforms delivery truck
  • Higher Education and K–12: Services to colleges, universities, school systems and districts and private schools include dining, catering, food service management, convenience-oriented retail operations, facilities maintenance, custodial services, grounds maintenance, energy management, construction management, capital project management and building commissioning.
  • Healthcare: Non-clinical support services at healthcare and senior living facilities include patient food and nutrition services, retail food services, clinical equipment maintenance, environmental services, laundry and linen distribution, plant operations, energy management, strategic/technical services, supply chain management and central transportation.
  • Aramark's uniform and career apparel segment provides uniforms, career and image apparel, safety equipment, work clothes and accessories in industries such as manufacturing, transportation, construction, restaurants and hotels, public safety, healthcare and pharmaceutical industries.

In 2006, Aramark acquired SeamlessWeb, an Internet-based service that allows users to order food from local restaurants.[17][18]

Aramark owns half interest in AIM Services, a leading outsourcing food provider in Japan.[19]

Ethical history[edit]

In recent years, Aramark has made several moves to boost its social responsibility image. In 2008, Aramark Building Community, a company-wide volunteer initiative, was created to help neighborhoods rebuild community centers as well as provide support for job readiness programs, nutrition and wellness education, and basic human needs for families and neighborhoods. A spring 2009 survey of over 92,000 students supported the company's concept of trayless dining, which was developed to reduce the amount of campus waste.[20]

In response to First Lady Michelle Obama's childhood obesity Let's Move campaign in February 2010, Aramark, along with other major food service providers, pledged to reduce the amount of fat, sugar and salt in their meals over the next five years.[21]

Labor law violations[edit]

In April 2010, Aramark and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers reached a resolution that called for a 70−80% increase in wages for tomato pickers.[22]

Aramark has also been the subject of a number of scandals regarding labor practices and business ethics. These include firing workers for reporting unsanitary food conditions, paying fringe wages, not paying for all hours worked, not paying backpay, and firing or eliminating the positions of those who file Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) claims.[23][24][25][26][27]

Food safety issues[edit]

In 2013, an investigation by Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Chris Hedges discovered that the food provided to inmates at Burlington County Jail in New Jersey was substandard and spoiled, and often made prisoners sick with diarrhea and vomiting.[28] Maggots found in the food preparation areas at Parnall Correctional Facility in Jackson, Michigan may have been the source of an outbreak of food-borne illness.[29][30] Maggots were also found in Aramark food products at Michigan's Charles Egeler Reception & Guidance Center[31] and two Ohio prisons, the Ohio Reformatory for Women and Trumbull Correctional Institute.[32] Ohio and Michigan fined Aramark $270,000 and $200,000 respectively.[33]

In April 2015, the managing board of The Cavalier Daily, a student-run newspaper at the University of Virginia, reported that Aramark literally "served garbage" to inmates in a Saginaw Correctional Facility in Michigan. It also noted that Aramark has in the past "underfed inmates and fed them dog food, worms and scraps of food from old meals" and argued that the University should reconsider its relationship with the food services contractor in light of these ethical issues.[34] Michigan's oversight of Aramark's performance was criticized as inadequate in a report released in August 2015 by the group Progress Michigan after Michigan moved to end the contract.[35]

Likewise, Aramark has been criticized for skimping portion sizes, food safety issues, and overcharging state governments (Michigan, Kentucky, and Florida) that have used their food in prisons; a Kentucky prison riot is reputed to have been caused by the low quality of food Aramark provided to inmates.[36][37]

Notable clients[edit]

Chicago Public Schools[edit]

Aramark has been criticized for the "filthy conditions" in Chicago Public Schools following the privatization of janitorial services and Aramark receiving a $260 million contract for their management. Responding to these reports, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said "Aramark's job is to clean the schools, so our principals and teachers can focus on their fundamental responsibility: education. They will either live up to that contract and clean up the schools or they can clean out their desks and get out."[38]

Wichita Falls Independent School District[edit]

Aramark was hired for $2.65 million per year to provide janitorial services on 28 schools and three administration buildings by the Wichita Falls Independent School District in 2015. The district cancelled Aramark's contract and hired another firm due to numerous complaints about bad service. A report issued by the Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health District determined that one high school was infested with rats and mice. Janet Powell, the district's director of support services said, "Everyone on the committee felt lied to and deceived (by Aramark)."[39]

Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction[edit]

Since 2013, numerous Aramark employees providing food services in Ohio prisons have fired or otherwise disciplined for inappropriate behavior towards prisoners such as sexual relations, letter writing, and smuggling contraband. At least 204 Aramark employees have been banned from entering Ohio prisons for such violations. On December 1, 2015 inmates working in the kitchen under Aramark management held a strike because they were required to cut meat with pan lids instead of being allowed to use meat slickers. An Aramark employee was given a written reprimand over the incident.[40]

Since the state start using Aramark in 2013, the Ohio Civil Services Employee Association has been trying to regain control of the food services contract. A bid submitted by the union in spring of 2015 failed after a state review found it did not properly reflect projected costs. Aramark's contract was renewed. The head of the union said Aramark “continues to violate their contract every day with food shortages, health and safety violations, bad employee conduct, low food quality.” As of late 2015, the union was pursuing arbitration against the state over this contract.[40]

In 2014, Aramark was issued two fines totaling $272,200 for contract violations. The state offered to credit money spent on additional employee training towards the fines. The same year nine Aramark employees were fired for contraband violations and 15 were fired for "security violations."[40]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Aramark, Form 10-K, Annual Report, Filing Date Dec 20, 2012" (PDF). Retrieved Jan 12, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Contact Aramark." Aramark. Retrieved on August 24, 2009.
  3. ^ "Fortune 500 2010: Top 1000 American Companies". CNNMoney. 2010. Archived from the original on 26 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-02. 
  4. ^ Profile Davre Davidson & William Fishman
  5. ^ Byrnes, Nanette (2008-08-07). "3.5 Million Meals In 16 Days". BusinessWeek. Retrieved 2010-08-02. 
  6. ^ Byrnes, Nanette (2002-09-23). "Joseph Neubauer, Aramark". BusinessWeek. Archived from the original on January 4, 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-02. 
  7. ^ "Aramark, Form 10-K, Annual Report, Filing Date Nov 28, 1994". Retrieved Jan 12, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Aramark, Form S-1/A, Filing Date Dec 7, 2001". Retrieved Jan 12, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Aramark, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Aug 8, 2006" (PDF). Retrieved Jan 12, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Aramark, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Feb 1, 2007" (PDF). Retrieved Jan 12, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Gluten-Free Concession Stand Now At Coors Field". 2009-07-25. Archived from the original on December 8, 2009. Retrieved 2010-08-02. 
  12. ^ Don Muret (May 10, 2010). "Concessionaires add gluten-free offerings to ballpark menu". Sports Business Retrieved 2010-08-02. 
  13. ^ "Aramark, Form 424B3, Filing Date Feb 8, 2012" (PDF). Retrieved Jan 12, 2013. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Aramark, Form 424B3, Filing Date May 10, 2012". Retrieved Jan 12, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Longtime Aramark Chairman Joseph Neubauer Stepping Down". Philadelphia Magazine. Retrieved July 23, 2015. 
  17. ^ "Aramark, Form 10-K, Annual Report, Filing Date Nov 22, 2006" (PDF). Retrieved Jan 13, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Aramark Corp. has acquired SeamlessWeb Professional Solutions, Inc.".  External link in |publisher= (help)
  19. ^ "Aramark, Form 10-Q, Quarterly Report, Filing Date Aug 9, 2012". Retrieved Jan 13, 2013. 
  20. ^ Horovitz, Bruce (2008-07-25). "More college cafeterias dump food trays". USA Today. Retrieved 2010-08-02. 
  21. ^ "Childhood Obesity Battle Is Taken Up by First Lady". The New York Times. 2010-02-10. 
  22. ^ Thomas Stewart (2010-04-02). "Aramark, Coalition of Immokalee Workers agree on wage hike for UF's food service field workers". Archived from the original on June 15, 2011. Retrieved 2010-08-02. 
  23. ^ "Aramark". Retrieved 2010-08-02. 
  24. ^ Appel, Allan (April 2008). "Aramark On The Way Out". New Haven Independent. Retrieved 2010-08-02. 
  25. ^ "Scandal surrounds Aramark". The Hawk. April 2, 2008. Archived from the original on August 7, 2009. Retrieved 2010-08-02. 
  26. ^ Joey Flechas (2010-02-18). "Students, farmworkers appeal for more money". Retrieved 2010-08-02. 
  27. ^ "UDS: controversy behind closed doors". Minnesota Daily. September 9, 2008. Retrieved 2013-04-06. 
  28. ^ Chris Hedges (22 December 2013). "Food Behind Bars Isn't Fit for Your Dog". Truthdig. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  29. ^ Jonathan Oosting (July 1, 2014). "Maggots found near food in Jackson prison 'unacceptable,' says Gov. Snyder".
  30. ^ Joshua Holland (July 17, 2014). "How a Bogus, Industry-Funded Study Helped Spur a Privatization Disaster in Michigan". Moyers & Company. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  31. ^ Paul Egan (2 July 2014). "Maggots found in food at second Michigan prison". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  32. ^ Alan Johnson (8 July 2014). "Maggots found in food at two Ohio prisons". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
  33. ^ "Maggots in Aramark Kitchens Earn Slap on the Wrist". In the Public Interest. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  34. ^ Aramark proves unethical once again. The Cavalier Daily, April 8, 2015.
  35. ^ Egan, Paul (August 18, 2015). "Report: Michigan failed to hold Aramark accountable". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved August 19, 2015. 
  36. ^ Paul Egan (7 May 2013). "Michigan's new prison food contractor accused of skimping on size and quality of meals to boost profits". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
  37. ^ Lavender, George (30 January 2014). "Private Contractor Accused of Skimping on Prisoner Food". In These Times. Retrieved 31 January 2014.
  38. ^ Lauren Fitzpatrick and Fran Spielman (16 September 2014). "Rahm to Aramark: Clean up the schools or clean out your desks". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  39. ^ [1]
  40. ^ a b c [2]

External links[edit]