By Kelsi Peace, Features Editor
Turning a profit is not the goal for the dining facilities on campus said Anthony Williams, director of retail and Campus Store manager.
Williams said allowing students to use a meal plan in exchange for an iced beverage or supremo-sized hot beverage should not be an option because it is not a fair exchange.
Last semester, students filled out 1,800 online surveys and participated in 23 focus groups, which helped form dining service’s vision for this year.
Williams said students’ ability to use a meal plan at Starbucks, reflects the overall goal he is trying to achieve: convenience.
Williams said Dining Services is more interested in providing opportunities for students to use meal plans than making money.
When students use a meal plan at the satellite restaurants, any facility on campus except the Bean, they do not have access to a buffet-style, all-you-can-eat facility.
Williams said any money that appears to be left-over from a meal plan used at a satellite restaurant is covering hidden costs that accompany the facility.
Preparation and transportation incur extra fees, Williams said, and employees must also be paid to staff each facility.
Williams said Chick-fil-A is the top earner, Starbucks a close second.
Students usually use Bean Bucks rather than meal plans, Williams said, and faculty and staff who frequent Starbucks use cash and credit cards.
ACU receives approximately 10 percent of the money earned each day at dining locations.
Williams said the university continues to consider acquiring a full-fledged Starbucks on campus.
The Learning Commons offers a Proudly Brew level Starbucks, which provides Starbucks brand coffee. A full-fledged Starbucks offers Starbucks brand iced beverages; recipes for iced beverages are not released to Proudly Brew levels.
Costs to become a full-fledged Starbucks could be as high as $250,000, Williams said.
“We have to make a decision if this is an investment, and it is substantial, that would be worth undertaking,” he said.
Cost per item will increase by about 25 cents if the change is made, Williams said.
Brittany Harris, freshman undeclared major from Fort Worth, said she would support the change as long as meal plans could still be used.
Harris, who spends 10 hours per week in the library for her university seminar class, said she uses all of her lunch meal plans in the Learning Commons. Harris said she finds this cost effective.
When she purchases an occasional white chocolate mocha, Harris uses Bean Bucks.
Williams said the cost to become a full-fledged Starbucks cannot be recovered through selling coffee, and the upgrade would not be a business decision.
“We would do it because we felt it was important to do,” he said.