Did the sale of beer breach licensing provisions?

QUESTION:
In relation to the question regarding the sale of beer at Dolche Vita and other locations in Stafford, can Commercial Services confirm that this did not contravene the applicable licensing provisions? If a breach was undertaken will appropriate disciplinary action be taken against those responsible?

 

ANSWER:
It would be inappropriate to discuss disciplinary action in this forum, however we can confirm that the Campus & Commercial Services team did not breech any licensing provisions.

Should the university be endorsing day-time drinking in the work place?

QUESTION:
Recently there has been a warming welcome in the Beacon Foyer of hot chocolate and grab and go tasty meals, however it was rather disconcerting on Monday to see that this was supplemented by large cans of larger – possibly traditional accompaniment to pie and peas for English diners but not warming, not conducive to afternoon study and probably not what a lot of the new MSc students were expecting to see.

Should the university be endorsing day-time drinking in the work place especially when alcohol is a major health hazard. Those who want to drink do have bars to go to including on the premises, should those who those who don’t or who abstain for various reasons have it so in their face? The larger has now relocated to Dolche Vita – again it doesn’t seem entirely appropriate.

 

ANSWER:
This was a one off and we appreciate now with hindsight, that it wasn’t an appropriate location for the sale of alcohol. The Commercial Services team would like to apologise if any offence was caused and reassure everyone that this was not our intention.

Why have self-serve salad boxes been removed from catering outlets?

QUESTION:
I have been into Bush House today and was looking forward to using the salad bar and choosing my own salad. It is no longer available. I have asked staff and they explained that Bush House are discontinuing the salad bar and only offering pre-made salad boxes. These boxes start at £2.49 each- over double the price of a basic salad tub (from last academic year) and more to the point, they are filled with mayonnaise, croutons and cheese which are all high in fat.

The primary food offering in the Food for Thought today seems to be chips, pizza, burgers and other hot or fried foods. What options are there for staff who want to eat a healthy/low fat diet for medical and health reasons?

How can we promote healthy living amongst staff and students when such a limited range of food is being offered on campus? It leaves us with no other option but to use external outlets, which have a wider choice, but obviously this will impact on the income from on-campus outlets.

 
ANSWER:
Many thanks for your comments regarding the offer in Bush House. In terms of the salad bar offer we decided to remove this due to lack of sales and as a result introduced the pre packed salad boxes as an alternative due to higher sales experienced in other areas.

I accept your point regarding the increase in price for the salad boxes, but to be fair, these products are better quality with a lot more filling and indeed are selling much better than the previous Bush House salad bar offer.

In terms of the hot food offer, we do have a daily special which includes Jacket Potatoes, a casserole or freshly made curry of the day, burgers (which again are available with freshly prepared salad etc), fresh fruit pots and a host of wraps with assorted fillings.
I accept that we also sell fish and chips, but I do believe that this is the only unhealthy thing and we do need to offer some indulgencies.

The “choose your own” salad Bar is still available in the Pavilion and we are currently planning the menu and offers for the new food court in the Brindley Building, and indeed we will be offering a much wider selection of salad and deli including fill your own salad boxes and daily breads from March onwards.

 

Why has the student discount in unversity eating areas been removed?

QUESTION:

I would like to ask why the student discount (No VAT upon showing of their student card) for purchasing food/drinks in the Dolce Vita and The Terrace has been removed? So now everyone pays the same, i.e. extortionist prices!!

There was a price increase at the beginning of the semester and now this?  No wonder the place is always empty..

ANSWER:

We have now introduced a clear single pricing structure, which is easier for customers to understand and follows best practice within the HE  and educational sector. This has resulted in student prices rising on average by 6% (food inflation is currently 6%) to ensure we are charging enough for the VAT to be covered by both student and staff purchases. 

We also absorbed the increase in VAT in January to 20% (products such as crisps and coke attract VAT for all users). We have not increased prices since last September, although the average price has risen by 6%, not all prices have increased and we are now running many more promotions.

We have, and constantly benchmark our pricing alongside many of our competitor universities and local competition to ensure that we remain competitive.

In addition to price increases we have also introduced meal deals and promotional offers that save well in excess of the 6% increase; these are now being advertised in all outlets and are the result of supplier sponsorship, product promotions and bulk purchasing discounts.
 
In addition we have also introduced Advance Catering which is a pre-paid card system for students. Each card costs £29.99 but its value is £35.00 so again huge saving can be made by purchasing one of these.