Cafe suffers low profits

Chris Wilcox
Contributing writer

Allie Douglass/Contributing photographer

Andrew Porter, a Regents Thorougbrewed Cafe employee, works the register. Porter said the University is giving the cafe a final chance to raise profits.

Regents Thoroughbrewed Cafe, a coffee shop serving Regents College residents, is under the scrutiny of the University, following a year of low profitability.
According to staff members, the University is giving the coffee shop another chance to raise profits before it is closed.
“The facility was originally (scheduled) to close due to the lack of profit made, but it has been given the chance to increase profits,” Dennis Porter, sophomore from Scottsville, Ky., and Thoroughbrewed Cafe employee, said.
Emily Birnstein, sophomore from St Louis, Mo., and employee of the Thoroughbrewed Cafe in the Curris Center, said the location and poor selection of Regents Cafe may have attributed to its low profits.
“It’s kind of tucked away,” she said. “It needs to be advertised more. That, and they don’t have a lot of selection. Hart Cafe and the cafe in the Curris Center have a lot of different things you can get, while Regents just has regular coffee and sandwiches.”
The Regents Cafe reduced its business hours from 8 to 10 a.m. and 4 to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday this semester. It is closed weekends.
Regents College Cafe is no longer offering Starbucks coffee since its coffee supply licensing agreement was transferred to the Curris Center Cafe.
Don Robertson, vice president of Student Affairs, said coffee sales at Regents Cafe had been poor, making it difficult to justify keeping it open.
“We have determined not to close it,” Robertson said. “We are working with the RCC (Residential College Committee) and the new college head to look at how we can better market the facility.”
Amy Crump, supervisor of Dining Services, said the Regents Cafe’s financial problems started when keycards were introduced for building access.
She said this created difficulties for students of other residential colleges who wished to enter the building.
“We have shortened our business hours and we are working diligently with the new college head, Cynthia Gayman, to help us out with ease of access so others can access this coffee shop,” she said. “Hopefully, that will get us back on track financially and allow us to keep employing students and providing the students with this cafe service.”
She said other ideas to contribute included closing the cafe for a semester to reconfigure access and security.  Tighter security is good for the college but could hurt the Thoroughbrewed business at Regents College.
President Randy Dunn said the University has an obligation to provide certain services to its students that go beyond the traditional business principles.
“Sometimes when you run a university campus, there’s just some things that you have to do to contribute to the life and culture that provides a campus feel that you want,” he said.
Dunn said he supports the help the Cafe is getting.
“So I’m supportive of the efforts to keep it going and look forward to the success they’ll have with it,” he said.
Crump said Dining Services managers are working to find better options, but for now, the cafe will remain open.

 

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