Fermilab Today Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011

Cafeteria price changes - sharing the burden

Beginning Dec. 1, it will cost more to eat in Fermilab's cafeteria. On Thursday, the amount you pay for food and beverages in the cafeteria will increase by about 7.5 percent.

The increase is necessary in part because of higher food and supply costs, most notably for soft drinks, coffee and the cafeteria's environmentally sustainable hot and cold cups.

"Consumers have seen the significantly increased costs for food, energy and supplies reflected in grocery store prices," said Accommodations Manager Jack Hawkins. "It costs more today to bring in the supplies we need."

This is the first time in two years that the cafeteria has increased prices.

"Although we've absorbed the increasing costs in the past few years, it has gotten to the point where we can no longer afford to do so," Hawkins said.

Currently, the prices displayed in the cafeteria include sales tax. On Dec. 1, Fermilab's cafeteria will implement the price increase while decoupling prices and sales tax and beginning to charge sales tax as a separate item.

"Doing this makes your food purchase similar to purchases made offsite," Hawkins said.

While prices in Fermilab's cafeteria are slightly higher than those at nearby fast food outlets, the cafeteria offers higher quality food and larger portions. Southern Food Service also has pay scales built into their contract with the laboratory. Cafeteria employees receive more benefits than their fast food counterparts, for example.

The largest increases will be to beverages, such as coffee. To save money on your purchase and help keep cafeteria costs down, cafeteria patrons can bring their own cups and mugs. Southern Food Service Management will offer a discount of 20 cents each time a patron uses their own mug or cup.

"We're doing our best to continue to provide the best value for our customers while continuing to provide the same services," Hawkins said.

Rhianna Wisniewski

Fermi National Accelerator - Office of Science / U.S. Department of Energy | Managed by Fermi Research Alliance, LLC.
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