Recently Amarillo College officials announced the Palace Coffee location on the Washington Street Campus is planning to end its contract early and leave the college. With the loss of this on-campus source of caffeine students and faculty alike are wondering: what happens now?
The space that currently houses Palace Coffee has experienced several renovations over the years to fit the needs of students and faculty; first becoming a cafeteria, then a vending machine and lounge area and then, most recently, a coffee shop.
There are some people bemoaning the loss of the coffee shop, but even before the decision was made to cut ties, lack of business at the AC location and declining funds made it pretty clear that the shop no longer served the college’s needs.
Palace truly did take a risk coming to AC, paying $1000 a month on top of 5 percent of its earnings to the college to stay. They supplied their own employees and other necessities to the location with no aid from AC. Sadly, no one on either side of this deal anticipated the lack of customers.
AC did spend money renovating that space for Palace, but the shop was hit the hardest. No business will be able to survive on a college campus if it can’t break even.
The general consensus among students now is that AC needs more food options on campus that aren’t vending machines and Chick-fil-A. The problem is, what restaurant is willing to take a loss?
In choosing Palace, AC attempted to meet students’ needs without expending any funds, but past experience with food services on campus shows that these services lose money.
In order to truly serve students, the college should be willing to take some percentage of loss in institutional funds.
What food options would students even like? Have students given enough input? Perhaps more students would support the food service if they could help select it.
Certainly cost, convenience and a variety of healthy choices are high on most student’s lists. In any case, it is essential for the college to commit to providing some form of food on the Washington Street Campus and possibly on the other campuses.
Even if it costs the college some money, it is a choice that will pay off. Having affordable food services on campus means students will do better in their classes. It really isn’t a bad investment and that’s more than food for thought.