After a three week trial, Malone and AVI Fresh jointly decided to close the Johnson Center café. After receiving concerns from students and parents that there was not enough time in between classes for select students to have a meal at the dining hall, Dr. Freisen suggested a café at the JC that would provide limited food service much like Regula Café and Froggy’s Café. The café was intended to serve those students who spend the majority of their day at the JC with little time in between. However, after low participation, AVI was forced to shut it down.
According to AVI Director Stephan Baity, it came down to simple math—the café didn’t break even when it came to revenue.
Vice President for Finance and Business Affairs Joy Brathwaite also shared that food was wasted as a result of not enough demand. Even after reducing the amount of food, waste was still an issue.
“We were trying to meet a request,” Brathwaite said. “We need to know what the real student demand is.”
Baity cites the cause of the café closing as lack of participation from both students and professors.
“I wish it would have taken off,” Baity said. “We did it for the students.”
Baity said he is in the process of meeting with Student Senate to try to think of new ways to better serve those students who are struggling to find time to eat. According to Baity, he is taking his lead from the university on what to do next.
“We don’t want students not to eat,” he said. “Suggestions are welcomed.”
Baity encourages both student and professors to stop by his office with any and all reasonable suggestions on how to better serve students.
Senior music education major Cindle Coleman shares that on a usual day, she has at most ten minutes to spare between her classes, making it difficult to grab something to eat.
Coleman was able to get some use out of the café yet admitted that it was hard to use directly after chapel because of crowding.
Coleman said to accurately measure the demand for student need, polls should be conducted to see what time students have and what they specifically want. She suggested some vending machines with muffins and wrapped sandwiches or even possibly bagged lunches.
For now, Brathwaite said the status of any food service in the JC has gone back to square one.