March 14, 2016- At the beginning of this year, NDNU renewed their contract with Bon Appetite for 25 years. There is talk that Bon Appetite will plan to remodel the cafeteria in the summer of 2017, in order to keep a section opened later for both students and staff to access food.
One of the primary concerns for students has been operational hours of the cafeteria. What general manager Katie Simmons explains that in order to extend hours this means that NDNU must increase the cost of meal plans in order to cover wages of Bon Appetite workers.
“We have to pay the cooks for more hours and if we are paying the cooks more hours than that means more money comes out of the student’s pocket. To extend the hours will cause us and the students more money, and we know it’s expensive to go to school so we want to keep it reasonable as possible.” Said Simmons
She is right many of the student’s do agree that the cafeteria should be opened later but are not willing to pay for an increase in meal plans: Standard meal plan here at NDNU is $1,360.00 which is seven meals and $100.00 flex.
“There are times that I have practice and cannot make it to the cafeteria on time, leaving me hungry for the night, but if this means they would have to increase meal plans then I say we leave it the way it is, school is already expensive as it is” said senior Cory Spears.
Some other students disagree and say the hours are fine but agree they are not willing to pay the increase in meal plans.
”The hours are perfect for me because I can go straight from class to eat and then go straight home or I can just take my food to go and only purchase my box for 50 cents. Despite the long lines at times I am happy with Bon Appetite. As far as for adding money to meal plan wouldn’t be a good idea, school is already hard to pay for as it is.” Says Junior, Katie Anderson, a commuter.
Since the remodel has not be finalized and at the earliest will occur next summer, one possible suggestion that the Argonaut probed was allowing students to use their flex dollars on vending machines around campus.
When commenting on the feasibility of this idea, Simmons was unable to comment, however The Argonaut did learn from her that the Vending Machine contracts are separate one from Bon Appetite, and again at the heart of the issue comes down to the funding.
Students and Staff can look forward to possible renovations of the Café in the summer of 2017.