Ananian, student opinion clash on Spot prices

Senior Gerson Zavala frequently visits The Spot and said he is often greeted by Food Services Employee Jason Kern. Although most students feel the food is pricey, they are attracted by the convenience. / photo by Brian Murphy

by Rob Strauss
Staff Writer

Apart from student complaints about the high prices at the Spot, the campus snack bar barely manages to break even each semester.

Armen Ananian, food service director, attributes the lack of profits to labor, food prices and upkeeping the equipment. He adds that the food service is not trying to make a profit.

“Our goal is to break even,” said Ananian.

According to Ananian, the prices are set by comparison and they have no set markup price.

“We compare with the restaurants and fast food places around here,” said Ananian. “We try to be competitive with their prices.”

The high cost is due to lack of buying power. The Spot, which is operated by Aramark Food Services, purchases the dry goods from Sysco and its beverages from Hara Lambos. Ananian stated that stores such as Circle K are able to buy more than the Spot can.

“We don’t have that much buying power so our cost is higher,” said Ananian. According to Ananian, the lack of buying power is the reason that Snapple costs 95 cents at Circle K, while it costs $1.50 at the Spot.

Furthermore, the prices of the Spot are comparable to prices at other universities, and in some cases are cheaper. Claremont McKenna College, also a private school, has roughly the same prices as the Spot. A hamburger costs $1.50 there, only 9 cents less than the Spot.

The price for a salad at Claremont McKenna is over $3, which is similar in cost to a salad at the Spot.

“They used to sell salad by the plate,” said Ananian. “We now sell salad by the ounce.”

Ananian explained that they discovered other colleges sold salad at 17 cents an ounce, so the Spot salad was priced accordingly.

“Most universities and colleges serve by ounce,” said Ananian.

Students are wary of the prices because they feel that they are too high for the income they bring in.

“People don’t have a lot of money,” said freshman Sean Piazza.

There is also feeling by some students that the Spot has a monopoly on the ULV campus.

“I think they take advantage of the fact that it is close by and that students will buy it,” said sophomore Alma Barrera.

Jill Coverdale, a worker at the Spot, said that the prices have not changed since she has been there.

“They’ve been the same prices since I started eight years ago,” said Coverdale.

Coverdale added that they did raise the price of the coffee this year, after a comparison with Circle K.

Journalism operations manager at the University of La Verne. Production manager and business manager of the Campus Times.

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