Magic Johnson Partners with Grambling State to Elevate Campus Dining - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise magazine Fall 2019 issue

SodexoMAGIC, a dining services provider of which NBA legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson is chairman, is partnering with Grambling State University to update on-campus dining.

The deal includes a $6.7 million renovation project. The funds will go toward renovating dining facilities, creating new on-campus restaurants, and offering 24-hour dining.

“This agreement is a great example of what is possible when universities put our students first,” said Rick Gallot, president of Grambling State said in a statement on the university’s website. “We are fortunate to collaborate with a partner, like SodexoMAGIC who understands the holistic needs of our students.”

Grambling students will be treated to new menus created by Chef G. Garvin, who hosted a cooking show for seven seasons on TV One. A new mobile app will allow students to order takeout and made-to-order food. Additionally, specialized food options for those with allergies and vegetarians will be available.

“We are proud to partner with the Grambling State community and excited about investing in the students,” said Magic Johnson via a press release.

“My team is committed to providing excellent service that the Grambling students, staff, and community deserve so they can continue leading efforts to change the world in sports, technology, and in business.”

The new dining plans are based off a 12-month research effort conducted by the university. The research led insight into Grambling students’ dining predilections:

  • 71% expressed interest in new major brand food options including Chick-fil-A as the No. 1 student choice
  • 69% of respondents requested increasing food variety
  • 56% of respondents suggested increasing dining service hours
  • More than 50% of respondents shared that they participate in a specialized diet (e.g. keto, gluten-free, vegan/vegetarian)

SodexoMAGIC is a joint business venture between food services and facilities management company Sodexo, and Johnson’s Magic Food Provisions company. Earlier this year, Black Enterprise named two Sodexo executives, Sodexo North America CEO of Inspirus, Sodexo Benefits and Rewards Services, Mia Mends; and Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer of Sodexo North America, Gerri Mason Hall, to its Most Powerful Women in Corporate America list.