By: Steven Smeall
If the college believes it could benefit students in the long run, it’s possible for Algonquin to bring in a fast food franchise.
However, don’t expect that to happen any time soon.
“It costs money to bring brands on campus, you’re paying royalties,” said Brent Browlee, general manager of food and beverage operations.“Every dollar a student pays, seven or eight cents will be going to a company off-site, where as if we’re doing it from within here, that money is going back to Algonquin College.”
If the college sticks to its own food operations however, that would mean that all the money from food and beverage sales goes back to Algonquin.
“We as managers here go and visit all of those brands out there and look at what they’re doing and see if there is anything we can add to our own,” said General Manager of Food & Beverage Services Brent Brownlee.
“Last year Algonquin College food services scored a 63 per cent satisfied or very satisfied on the (KPI) survey and the college average was 49 per cent for the system and majority of those colleges scored have branded concepts.”
As long as students are happy with the current food and beverage sites on campus, there will no need to add any branded locations.
There seems to be a mixed opinion from students on the food services at Algonquin.
“The quality is not consistent here; sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad,” said first year architectural technician student Brad Goulet.
“Overall, I’m actually satisfied, they have a wide variety of foods,” said Katie Monk, a first year hospitality management student.
Second year finance student Justin Oneid had a recommendation for a possible change.
“More healthy options for people who are all into fitness now. We want to get something healthy out there. I’ve had to eat pizza almost every day,” said Oneid.
Brownlee said that the college is always listening to the recommendations from students, so there is always the chance that things could change in the future if students are unsatisfied.
The current food and beverage facilities that the college has available to students and faculty are much like the fast food locations that you can find around Ottawa.
“There have been surveys done to show that students have their favourite brands, but there have also been surveys to show that students are pretty happy with the mix of food on campus overall,” said Brownlee.
Food and Beverage Operations has shown that it is open to bringing in any possible brands as students saw when Starbucks arrived at the beginning of the school year.
“The really great thing about Algonquin and their current setup is that we have been self-operated and that we have our own concepts but we can still have the conversation and change concepts to maybe branded or something else, to what students want,” said Brownlee.
Brownlee made it clear that the student’s satisfaction is a priority, meaning work will be done to ensure that the food and beverage facilities on campus not only satisfy the students, but benefit the college overall.