Chartwells Prices On The Rise

Ashley Elston

Staff Writer

Chartwells has raised their prices for the first time in two years to keep up with increasing costs.

Chartwells’ prices have increased by four percent this year. “We want to make sure if we raise the price of something that its better than what it was last year,” said Chartwells Director of Dining Services John Poole.

According to Poole, the cost of buying produce has increased anywhere from 20-25 percent during that time.

“Everything has gone up in price,” said Poole. “Also, in that period of time employee salaries have gone up.” Poole noted that because Chartwells employees are unionized and receive full health insurance, the cost of labor can be expensive.

“I think Chartwells is very overpriced,” said Emily Manning, nursing major. “There is barely any healthy choices so you end up paying so much money for food you don’t want.”

Chartwells’ biannual campus surveys showed that students don’t mind being charged extra money for better quality food, according to Poole. However, in a poll conducted by the Hudsonian, 90 percent of students feel that Chartwells prices are too high for the quality provided.

Christopher Pier, individual studies major, said, “It’s pretty much the same [food quality]. I’ve been here since 2012.”

Some students commute to nearby fast food chains to save money, saying it’s worth the ten minute walk to receive a more plentiful and less expensive meal. Liberal Arts student Thomas Landon said regarding the Chartwells prices, “I can get more food at Wendy’s with that money.”

While students state Chartwells is expensive, many of the students still enjoy it. “It’s high priced, but it’s not bad food,” Kevin Miller, individual studies major, said.

“It’s real food,” Liberal Arts major, Michelle Thomson said. “Better than high school.”

Student events catered by Chartwells received mostly positive feedback. Chance Peters, a semiconductor manufacturing major watching the softball game at Fall Fest, stated, “Everything was fantastic. All of the food was amazing.”

Along with the rise in cafeteria prices, the cost of catering student events has risen as well. This year’s New Student Orientation Breakfast, organized by the Student Senate, cost $1,967.02 more than it did in 2013. Food from the orientation increased from $4.65 per person in 2013 to $6.25 per person this year.

The Fall Fest food bill this year increased by $1,381 compared to 2013, from $14,175 to $15,556. The Welcome Back BBQ bill increased by $643.75.

The larger bill isn’t only from the increase in food prices, but from the loss of the Student Senate 10 percent discount. It was the 10 percent discount that saved $1,277.97 for the New Student Orientation and $1,575 for Fall Fast last year.

Though food prices are on the rise and the Student Senate discount was discontinued, Poole describes the student activities and Chartwells relationship to be a good one. Poole states that if prices rise, Chartwells will work on bringing up quality as well.

“It’s about balancing out the overall food cost of the operation so we can pay labor and pay our commision to the school so we can work towards breaking even,” said Poole.


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