The Bon Appétit Fellowship Program 

Young woman in field wearing overalls

Former Bon Appétit Fellow Vera Chang on a Farm to Fork visit

In 2009, Bon Appétit Management Company began hiring young people for a unique fellowship program that has become part real-world food-systems education and part idea incubator.

The Bon Appétit Fellows are recent college graduates who were sustainability champions on campuses that we serve. They join Bon Appétit as full-time employees for stints of one to two years to learn about what our vision of “food service for a sustainable future” truly means — and what goes into making it a reality. They then share that story in multiple ways and help to write the next chapter.

Fellows engage creatively with Bon Appétit campus communities: generating interest in food and sustainability issues and communicating the company’s policies through farm visits, guest lectures, educational events and assistance with the implementation of sustainability-related programs. Their backgrounds enable them to be credible peer-to-peer educators about where a college dining hall’s food comes from, how it was grown or raised, and why knowing that is important.

They also participate in the company’s work to make change at a broader level, by conducting in-depth research projects on important food system issues, creating guides for best practices, and making recommendations for innovative programs that help maintain the company’s position as a leader in sustainability. Projects are constantly changing, but past projects have included: reducing food waste, defining fair farm labor, creating a network of student gardeners and farmers at colleges around the country, providing support and resources to students interested in running the Real Food Calculator, and starting food recovery programs.

HUNGRY FOR CHANGE IN OUR FOOD SYSTEM? If you’re a passionate food systems advocate on your Bon Appétit-served campus and want to continue that work after graduation, consider our fellowship program. People of color are strongly encouraged to apply, as we value a broad set of perspectives and experiences. Fellowship applications for the coming year are accepted mid-November through January; top candidates are interviewed and notified by March or April. The fellowship is a one-year program (typically July through July), with the option to renew for a second year by mutual agreement.

WANT TO LEARN MORE? Visit the Bon Appétit blog to see posts from current and former Fellows, or check out the 10th Anniversary Fellows Impact Report.

I really feel like I won the lottery with the fellowship opportunity at Bon Appétit. The position allowed me to understand ‘sustainable food service’ from a bird’s-eye view at the corporate policy level to the grassroots level on farms and in the cafes — and everything in between. The team encourages the Fellows to think critically, ask questions, and contribute new ideas. In this short time, I’ve been encouraged to translate these ideas and questions into initiatives and projects that have been implemented throughout the company. If you’re hungry to make real change in the food system, love working with passionate people, and ready to roll up your sleeves, look no further than the Fellowship.
—Former Bon Appétit Fellow Sea Sloat (class of 2016)