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The New York-based food service and catering company Restaurant Associates will take over House dining operations in December, the House Administration Committee announced last week. [IMGCAP(1)]

The company, which was tapped earlier this year to run food operations in the Capitol Visitor Center, will replace locally based-Guest Services Inc. and a separate vendor in the Ford House Office Building, which combined handled about $16.5 million in sales in the House complex last year.

The switch came after a two-year review of food service operations by the Chief Administrative Officer and House Administration that began with a campus-wide survey in mid-2005.

“The decision to select this company was not made lightly,” CAO Dan Beard said. “Restaurant Associates is a real industry leader and they have a tremendous reputation in the corporate community for handling food service for major corporate clients. They do have a few government clients but this is by far their biggest entree into it.”

A spokesman for House Administration said that while focusing on improved food quality, larger portions and better service, Restaurant Associates has also pledged to play a role in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) Green the Capitol Initiative.

Beard, whom Pelosi has tapped to lead the effort, said, “I want to reduce the waste stream and eliminate things like Styrofoam cups and hard plastic. [Restaurant Associates] were really interested in working with us in that effort.”

— John McArdle

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