Bon App***e acute***tit – jbs -mts

Dave Broker

Last week I had my first experience at the new caf***e acute*** in the campus center. I’m sad to report it was not a positive one. For one thing, the menu options are far more limited than they were in the grill. They’ve taken away some of my favorites — like the Tuna & Viking Melts, curly fries, and other greasy items — and replaced them with an outstanding bagel sandwich menu. I guess I missed the point at which LU moved from Wisconsin to a hipster area of Brooklyn, but that’s just half the story.
What was really upsetting was their customer service. I asked for breaded perch, they gave me grilled perch. Not a big deal, but I thought I’d point it out. “Excuse me, I actually ordered the breaded perch.” No response. They began to turn away. “Hey, sorry, I ordered the breaded pearch.” Now the employees dispersed from behind the counter. Are you kidding me!
At this point I decided I had had enough, and it was time to speak out about Bon App***e acute***tit.
First let me clarify something. Some will suggest that — as a fraternity member — my criticisms are biased because of what happened to the frats last year. For those of you who don’t know, fraternities essentially lost 17 percent of their food budgets to pay for meal services in the new campus center.
I don’t blame Bon App***e acute***tit for this; they were not responsible. I blame the Lawrence administration — particularly Campus Center Director Gregg Griffin — for doing everything from slyly misleading to outright deceiving students about the impact of the new meal plans on formal group houses. My criticisms of Bon App***e acute***tit are entirely based on what I’ve seen so far this year.
I’ve already mentioned fewer options and poor service. What about prices? I’ll admit, paying less than $4.50 for that perch wasn’t a bad deal. Yet, I can only say this because the new caf***e acute*** has openly disclosed prices, allowing students and the community to think about how much they’re spending. Down on the first floor, this is not the case. A meal in the new dining center costs about $10 — way more than you’d pay for similar quantities of food at restaurants along College Avenue.
How about quality? All I keep hearing is that it’s “so much better than Downer.” Is it really? Almost every time I’ve eaten there I have left unsatisfied. The produce is not fresh, much of the time the food is cold, and the only improvement I can really see is in the pizza. Again, you can eat tastier food at most restaurants on College Avenue.
Last week, a Bon App***e acute****tit spokesperson told ****The Lawrentian**** that the company “wanted to be competitive” with Appleton bars in regard to the Viking Room, and that’s why it is now for-profit. In fact, I’ve heard Bon App***e acute***tit use the words “for-profit” and “competitive” interchangeably so much now — in regard to all their services — that it is as if they are trying to convince us that they are fair players in a free market.
But they’re not. The school forces us to pay over $1,200 per year for board — most of which is sucked up by Bon App***e acute***tit now — and we’re expected to do the only logical thing and take advantage of what they give back to us — in terms of food — as much as possible. It explicitly limits your finite number of choices as a consumer. What does that lead to? High prices, low quality, fewer options and the most blatant disregard for the customer I have ever seen.
Some blame still rests on the university for being duped into the company’s sales pitch. For the most part, however, it is Bon App***e acute***tit I am disappointed by this time.