Part of the mission of the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C., is to provide exciting and enriching experiences for the approximately two million annual local, national, and international Zoo visitors.
As the National Zoo’s new foodservice partner, Sodexo, leader in Quality of Daily Life Solutions, will work with the Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ) throughout a 10-year contract to create dining options that are an extension of the Zoo experience and support its mission.
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s mission includes demonstrating leadership in animal care, conservation science, education, sustainability, and to teach and inspire people to protect wildlife, natural resources, and habitats.
Sodexo will provide café, concessions, catering services, and new dining options in 22 locations throughout the Zoo. To support the Zoo’s mission and engage all visitors, Sodexo will include education about the health of humans and the planet to assist visitors in making informed decisions including:
- Healthier versions of traditional favorites, accompanied by nutritional information
- Authentic ethnic cuisines at the new Taste of D.C. located in the Mane Café, plus many of the carts and kiosks located throughout the Zoo celebrating the diversity of D.C. and guests
- Sustainability messaging educating guests on the actions of the Zoo and Sodexo that support our mutual commitment to the environment and ecosystems
- A new outdoor venue, The Heirloom Grill, centering on sustainability, conservation, and restoration
“Working with the National Zoo and FONZ, Sodexo will bring to life a unique and progressive approach to foodservice that embodies the organizations’ vision for the visitor experience at the Zoo,” says Steven DiPrima, president of Sodexo Leisure.
“Sodexo has a long and successful history of aligning with our clients’ missions and providing the latest trends in concessions and catering. The resources and expertise Sodexo brings to the National Zoo will provide great benefits to FONZ members, the community and Zoo guests.”
The initiatives at the National Zoo include targeted commitments to source local, seasonal, sustainable ingredients; provide varied and balanced food options; and support the local community, initiatives that align with Sodexo’s Better Tomorrow Plan, the company’s global road map to sustainability.
Sodexo’s Leisure team is a premier provider to cultural destinations around the world and in the U.S., including the Houston Zoo, Zoo Atlanta, North Carolina Zoo, Louisville Zoo, National Aquarium in Baltimore, Museum of Science and Industry and Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, and Detroit Institute of Art.