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Old 09-18-09, 12:41 PM   #1
UmneyDurak
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Workplace cafeterias

Should the cafeterias at work be for profit or charge just enough to cover the expenses? Discuss.

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Old 09-18-09, 12:43 PM   #2
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Cover expenses. I know of a place near here taht makes semi trucks. They hired a man to run their cafeteria and told him to make it so employees could eat well for $5.00. That is his job and he does it well from what I am told.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 09-18-09, 12:44 PM   #3
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Cover expenses. I know of a place near here taht makes semi trucks. They hired a man to run their cafeteria and told him to make it so employees could eat well for $5.00. That is his job and he does it well from what I am told.

wow, you don't say...... fascinating.
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Old 09-18-09, 12:48 PM   #4
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I think it depends on the size of the workplace, how many people they think will use it and what types of things will be offered.

In all cases, I think the goal should be to make enough to cover expenses and have a *small* profit, just enough to deal with potential fluctuations in customers from month to month. If they operate right on the borderline all the time, then they won't have anything in the "bank" to address periodic downturns.


I don't agree with the notion of trying to run cafeterias as a major "for profit" business in general because that would offer no incentive to use it. I'd just go offsite for lunch at that point. Cafeterias on location should offer a convenient way to get some nice healthy food easily and quickly, making it less likely that my lunch will interrupt my workday.

I know a couple of people who work in environments were the food is subsidized 100%, but then those people generally have very long working hours.
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Old 09-18-09, 12:49 PM   #5
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Who runs the cafeteria? Is it the business or is it an outside company?

If the business owns the cafeteria, the cooks/cashiers/et.al. would be employees, so the business would need to make sure they were not losing money by owning the cafeteria, just as they would with any other facet of the business.

If an outside vendor runs the cafeteria, they deserve to make a profit by providing food and service just like any other restaurant. If they don't provide a good service, people don't eat there and they go out of business. Hello capitalism.
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Old 09-18-09, 12:50 PM   #6
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wow, you don't say...... fascinating.
yeah, I weave a fascinting tale don't I?
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Old 09-18-09, 01:23 PM   #7
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huh. You would think covering expenses would be good at college here - especially keeping the food prices in check because I mean they are students -working and going to school, but there is no cost control here, everything is expensive and since we're not the main campus where the better cafeteria and restaurant is - we have a ... kiosk. And any food dishes like rice & beans or chicken etc is all prepackaged and look like obvious leftovers from the other campus - or campus events. And wait staff horribly unprofessional. I really razzed them on a survey they sent around last year.
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Old 09-18-09, 01:36 PM   #8
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huh. You would think covering expenses would be good at college here - especially keeping the food prices in check because I mean they are students -working and going to school, but there is no cost control here, everything is expensive and since we're not the main campus where the better cafeteria and restaurant is - we have a ... kiosk. And any food dishes like rice & beans or chicken etc is all prepackaged and look like obvious leftovers from the other campus - or campus events. And wait staff horribly unprofessional. I really razzed them on a survey they sent around last year.
Reminds me of a rap song that someone wrote about the cafeteria at my college:

"In the kitchen there's many a roach...they see the food and on it encroach"

There was a HUGE campus scandal years ago when the student-run campus newspaper published a story detailing how the cafeteria took left-over food from professor's business meetings and served it to the students. Similar problems happened at another school in the area where they'd take the left overs from one meal and turn it into a "new" meal the next day or week. imagine having pumpkin pie prior to thanksgiving and "squash" soup the next.

When I was in college, everyone was supposed to be on a meal plan, but the food made me sick so I was able to get a medical exemption. I'm sensitive to garlic and get sick if I eat too much of it and this place put garlic in everything except the breakfast cereal!
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Old 09-18-09, 01:46 PM   #9
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I lean towards workplace cafeterias being able to cover their fixed and variable costs, as opposed to being a revenue center.
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Old 09-18-09, 01:51 PM   #10
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who runs the cafeteria? Is it the business or is it an outside company?

If the business owns the cafeteria, the cooks/cashiers/et.al. Would be employees, so the business would need to make sure they were not losing money by owning the cafeteria, just as they would with any other facet of the business.

If an outside vendor runs the cafeteria, they deserve to make a profit by providing food and service just like any other restaurant. If they don't provide a good service, people don't eat there and they go out of business. Hello capitalism.
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Old 09-18-09, 11:09 PM   #11
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At the college cafeteria here they charge like $4 for a small bottle of milk. I'm like I could get a whole jug for that much, yo.
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Old 09-18-09, 11:29 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by CyLowe97 View Post
Who runs the cafeteria? Is it the business or is it an outside company?

If the business owns the cafeteria, the cooks/cashiers/et.al. would be employees, so the business would need to make sure they were not losing money by owning the cafeteria, just as they would with any other facet of the business.

If an outside vendor runs the cafeteria, they deserve to make a profit by providing food and service just like any other restaurant. If they don't provide a good service, people don't eat there and they go out of business. Hello capitalism.
Well yes if it is run by an outside company they should make a profit, but should the company that is "subleasing" cafeteria space still dictate at least some price guidelines? Of course employees can go off site, but then if you only get one hour or in some cases less and you take in to account driving/walking time is it really an option? So cafeterias have an unfair advantage over outside businesses.

Another choice of course is to bring your own food, but that doesn't seem to be a popular choice (at least where I work). I opt for this option as my quiet protest to the way cafeteria is ran and their prices. Unfortunately most others are willing to deal with it, just grab the gruel and get back to work. *shrug

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Old 09-19-09, 12:15 AM   #13
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People that are making decent wages generally provide better service.
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Old 09-19-09, 06:47 AM   #14
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Well yes if it is run by an outside company they should make a profit, but should the company that is "subleasing" cafeteria space still dictate at least some price guidelines? Of course employees can go off site, but then if you only get one hour or in some cases less and you take in to account driving/walking time is it really an option? So cafeterias have an unfair advantage over outside businesses.

Another choice of course is to bring your own food, but that doesn't seem to be a popular choice (at least where I work). I opt for this option as my quiet protest to the way cafeteria is ran and their prices. Unfortunately most others are willing to deal with it, just grab the gruel and get back to work. *shrug
The vendor pays for the opportunity/advantage to be where the customers are. (location location location)

The customers (your coworkers) can pay for the convenience of the onsite vendor, run out for a bite if time allows, or bring their own lunch.

From what you're saying enough people think the food is priced reasonable enough that they are "willing to deal with it." (i.e. they are paying fair market value for the service, as they are not forced to eat there)

Sounds like the system is working just fine for everyone involved, including you since you've figured out their underlying scheme to fleece you and your coworkers!
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