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Aramark begins second round of training for small businesses

Aramark’s COE program is designed to provide business skills for small business owners and business owners from underrepresented groups.

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The leading U.S. based food service provider Aramark announced in a press release today that, in conjunction with the Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council (EMSDC) and the Southern California Minority Supplier Development Council (SCMSDC), it would begin mentoring its second cohort of small businesses and businesses owned by women and members of diverse groups.

This mentoring will occur in their three-month program named Centers of Excellence (COE). In this program, Aramark executives and employee volunteers will be matched with business leaders from underrepresented groups.

By doing this, these business leaders will be given opportunities to further develop themselves and their businesses, form mentor/mentee relationships with Aramark executive coaches, have their growth supported, and possibly join the Aramark supply chain as the company seeks to diversify its suppliers.

These business owners will be chosen from Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, Delaware, and southern California.

Natily Santos, Aramark’s Vice President of Responsible Sourcing, spoke about how mentoring opportunities like these are essential to Aramark’s sustainability, community relations, bolster local economies, and increase value for their clients. 

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“Aramark’s commitment to working with small businesses and businesses owned and operated by women and other diverse populations is key to forming strategic relationships that provide more culturally authentic products, increase value for our clients, and foster local economic impact,” she said.

In addition to Aramark’s work with the EMSDC and the SCMSDC, they are partnered with the Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council, Inc. (Chicago MSDC). 

The goal of that partnership is to operate the Progress, Insight & Performance Education program. This is an eight-week business development program meant to teach business optimization knowledge and skills.

Aramark’s sustainability goals are a part of their Be Well Do Well plan. This includes accounting for millions of people, from those in their supply chain, to their employees, to customers and their communities. 

As of the 2021 fiscal year, Aramark has an annual spend exceeding $592 million with their diverse suppliers and small businesses, with $300 million to women business owners and those from underrepresented communities. Their supply chain includes over 4,600 small businesses, diverse suppliers/subcontractors, and includes 1,505 supplier relationships with women and diverse business owners.

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