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Company Tops Rankings

Company Tops RankingsJoseph Neubauer's $9 billion Aramark is the world's leading provider of food and support services -- and is one of Fortune Magazine's Most Admired Companies.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [03.06.02] Though it began as just an entrepreneur selling peanuts from his car in 1936, Philadelphia-based Aramark is now a $9 billion company providing food and support services to clients in 17 countries. With Tufts graduate Joseph Neubauer at the helm, the company has become a fixture at sports venues, companies and schools around the country, earning it a top ranking in Fortune Magazine's list of the country's Most Admired Companies.

"We are extremely proud of our people and their success in creating measurable economic value for our customers," said Neubauer, who graduated from Tufts in 1963 and currently serves as a University Trustee. "We have accomplished this by working to build and expand 'unlimited partnerships' with each of our customers."

To compile its list, Fortune Magazine asked 10,000 executives and analysts to rate the top companies in 58 industries. Cited as the Most Admired Company in Fortune's "Outsourcing" category, Aramark was also named to Fortune's overall list of the country's Top 50 Most Admired Companies.

Among the company's extensive list of clients are many of the country's professional sports teams -- including the Boston Red Sox -- which use Aramark for catering and concessions.

"Aramark is the dominant concessionaire in many big-time sports," reported the Boston Herald. "They have contracts with 44 baseball teams across Major League Baseball, the NFL, NBA and NHL."

According to Neubauer, companies like Aramark need to provide more than just good food to suceed.

"This business is no longer simply about food," he said two years ago in an interview with Nation's Restaurant News -- a trade publication for the country's food services industry. "Our business has to be about entertainment, using food as a medium."

That's where creativity becomes extremely important.

"It has become very challenging at various venues," Neubauer said. "Boredom sets in very easily. We have to continually find ways to make foodservice fun. Whether it's sushi in the ballparks, like we do in Los Angeles, or raffles and prizes at our vending accounts, we have to make the dining experience fun for people."

Neubauer -- who joined Aramark in 1979 as an executive vice president and has served as the company's CEO for almost twenty years -- has built an impressive career.

USA Today reported that he became the youngest vice president in the history of Chase Manhattan Bank at the age of 27. He later worked for eight years as a senior executive at Pepsi Co.

In Fortune's ranking's -- which were released last week -- Aramark received it's highest rankings ever in almost every category, including quality of management, innovation, and social responsibility.

Showing how important social responsibility is to Aramark, the company donated food for thousands of rescue personnel, volunteers and displaced residents following the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington D.C.

"At New York University, [Aramark] employees helped feed and house 1,5000 displaced students, using makeshift locations," reported Restaurant News. "Aramark workers at NYU also made 3,000 sandwiches a day in the first few days for volunteers helping in the relief effort."

Similar arrangements were made by Aramark at St. Vincent's Hospital, Ellis Island, Shea Stadium and the Meadowlands sports complex.

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