A bottle of Dasani water at the Pit is $1.50.

A small bag of Doritos at the Pit is $.99.

An all-you-care-to-eat dinner at Danforth is $11.00 declining.

Each day, hundreds of UR students pay these prices for food on campus. Whether it is an all-you-care-to-eat dinner at Danforth Dining Center or a bag of pretzels at the Corner Store, at any moment you can not only find someone making a purchase, but someone complaining that food on campus is overpriced. Year after year, revisions to campus dining have been discussed, debated and implemented, yet pricing still remains a an important issue.

UR Dining Services has a method to their pricing, and it is by no means arbitrary. What actually happens is ARAMARK proposes prices to Director of Campus Dining Services and Auxiliary Operations Cam Schauf, who then acts as a liason between the two organizations. According to Schauf, there are set formulas put in place that help determine the price at which a particular item will be sold on campus. Three main considerations-raw food cost, packaging and labor-are taken into account in the ultimate goal of selling items at a certain percent of the food cost.

Dining Services follows formulas similar to other organizations that are comparable to UR, particularly college campuses within our academic range and size, both to ensure that prices are fair and that the company does not lose money. Additionally, prices are also compared to institutions in the Rochester area, such as markets and convenience stores. For example, Dining Services keeps in mind the costs of hamburgers at local restaurants when pricing their own, making sure that they remain competitive. According to Schauf, in the coming year, students will be actively involved in picking which institutions UR should compare itself to for this purpose.

Thus, Dining Services works hard to be competitive, but there are a plethora of things that impact price structure. For instance, Schauf states that it is important to keep in mind the excellent benefits and salaries that are paid to food service workers, and this factors into the overhead costs.

Additionally, students often overlook that revenues are often directed towards renovations and improvements. “We try to do renovations based on our own ability to manage money. We’re not trying to raise money to do this,” Schauf said.

So, since dining is always a popular discussion among students, what is in store for next year?

First and foremost, Danforth will once again be open for breakfast on the weekdays, a service that has been on hiatus for the past 2 years. Plans for a full breakfast followed by a continental one are still in the works. When asked if they would take advantage of these options, most students seemed in favor, but not many were overwhelmingly excited.

“If I lived in Sue B., I probably would go to breakfast, but only if I had an early class,” freshman Emily Brandes said. Most others, both freshmen and upperclassmen alike, concur.

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