Sodexo catered the college my daughter attended. I think they had the worst food of all of the colleges she applied to. Unfortunately for her palate, that college had the best academics for her, so that's where she went. Spent 4 years complaining about the food, and when we visited and sampled it, we had to agree. She managed to get along after she discovered a Sheetz and a fancy coffee place near campus. She also had a hotplate and a mini-refrigerator in her dorm room. To be fair, Sodexo put on a reception for the graduating seniors and parents that had pretty decent finger food.When I was coaching Empire State Games Ice Hockey, I remember we were dormed and fed at a different University than most of the other teams and athletes because of the rink location. Sodexo was trying to make a name for themselves in college food service (they had merged with Marriott Food Service to become a major presence in the US and were gradually taking over and phasing out the Marriott name) our athletes and coaches has great food, the majority of the teams at the main university hosting about 80% had very limited institutional offerings. Not a lot of meal plan and dorm action at most schools over the summer, but those Sodexo folks really went all out for us. Games ran late one day and we returned after the contracted hours, the dining hall manager said "don't worry, I'll ask some staff to stay and make sure we get it right" Most summers, the schools we were at would have thrown some slop on a table and gone home.
I believe these catering companies can serve up food at a wide range of quality levels, but you get what you pay for. It's possible that the administration at my daughter's college picked the low-cost option.
The college I attended (class of 1976) was catered by ARA services (don't know who owns them now), and the food was pretty good, but I lived off-campus for about half of my time there and thus did my own cooking.