Sodexo Wins Foodservice Contract for the Smithsonian's National Zoo

Sodexo's unique approach to service will enhance the visitor experience and support the National Zoo's mission of conservation

Part of the mission of the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C., is to provide exciting and enriching experiences for approximately 2 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 DC located in the Mane Café, plus many of the carts and kiosks located throughout the Zoo celebrating the diversity of DC 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, said 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, which 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.

Sodexo in North America

Sodexo, Inc., leading Quality of Daily Life Solutions company in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, delivers On-site Service Solutions in Corporate, Education, Health Care, Government, and Remote Site segments, and Motivation Solutions such as Esteem Pass. Sodexo, Inc., headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md., funds all administrative costs for the Sodexo Foundation, an independent charitable organization that, since its founding in 1999, has made more than $17 million in grants to end childhood hunger in America. Visit the corporate blog.

Sodexo, world leader in Quality of Daily Life Solutions

Quality of Life plays an important role in the progress of individuals and the performance of organizations. Based on this conviction, Sodexo acts as a partner for companies and institutions that place a premium on performance and employee well-being, as it has since Pierre Bellon founded the company in 1966. Sharing the same passion for service, Sodexo's 413,000 employees in 80 countries design, manage and deliver an unrivaled array of Quality of Life Services. Sodexo has created a new form of service business that contributes to the fulfillment of its employees and the economic, social and environmental development of the communities, regions and countries in which it operates.


Stacy Bowman-Hade
301 987 4352