The Student Center cafeteria on the Jefferson College Hillsboro campus closed on May 13, the last day of the winter semester finals.
Food Service Consultants (FSC), the company that has operated the cafeteria for almost 19 years, has informed college officials that it will no longer run the cafeteria because it has been losing money since the start of the COVID pandemic. 19, which resulted in a decrease in the number of people using the service, college president
said Dena McCaffrey.
The FSC, however, will continue to restock vending machines on all college campuses and will provide food for the Hillsboro Campus Daycare program over the coming months.
“Technically, I am employed until August 1 to supply the campus daycare and to fill the vending machines, until they can find my replacement,” said FSC food service director Michele Largent in a statement. letter.
In the meantime, college officials will be asking for proposals for a new foodservice provider, but it will likely be a different type of deal, McCaffrey said.
“It could be someone providing a mini-market with fresh food,” she said. “But, it won’t be like our current cafeteria.”
Before the cafeteria closed, FSC contacted college officials and asked to be paid to operate the cafeteria for the 2021-2022 school year, which the college is prohibited from doing, McCaffrey said.
“The college did not terminate the contract,” she said. “FSC asked to be paid $ 5,000 for 10 months to operate the cafeteria. But, as we are an institution receiving public funds, we cannot subsidize a private company. We never paid them in the history of the cafeteria operating contract.
Money sent college officials a letter asking them to subsidize FSC after a year in which the company lost about $ 60,000.
She said the company had six employees working in the cafeteria in August, but reduced it to three in October.
The employees worked in the cafeteria and snack bar of the vocational and technical education building (CTE).
Money asked why the FSC couldn’t be paid when the college pays for other services, like grounds maintenance.
Daryl Gehbauer, the college’s vice president of finance and administration, said paying the FSC, which collects money for the sale of products, would be different from paying for grounds maintenance services.
“You compare apples to oranges,” Gehbauer said. “With lawn care, they provide a service and we pay for that service. The cafeteria is like the bookstore. If they are profitable, they pay us a percentage in the form of a commission.
Gehbauer said the FSC made a payment to the college after a profitable year in 2018.
“We have shared 50 percent of their operating profits,” he said.
However, the college has not received any commissions from the company since then, Gehbauer said.
He also said it would be illegal for the college to pay FSC for its service.
“We are funded by federal funds. They asked us to give them a grant to cover part of their losses. This is what we cannot do. It’s in the constitution of the state.
McCaffrey stressed that college officials understand FSC’s position and are ready to work with the company and its owner, Mike Kumpf, again in the future.
“FSC and Mike Kumpf were great friends in college,” she said. “If we had catering needs, he would always be ready to do it. “