It seems as if every September comes with new changes at UFV, and this time, it’s the Canoe.
The Canoe, UFV’s campus restaurant run by the Student Union Society (SUS) has been revamped to be cafeteria-style, differing from its previous restaurant format.
“We no longer have front of house staff coming to take orders at tables,” SUS president Sukhi Brar explained. “Instead there is a host station set up at the entrance of the Canoe for customers to order at. This centralizes ordering and allows us to deliver faster service to students.”
With SUS’ food services being over budget on an almost regular basis in previous years, Brar saw the changes as way to prevent overages from happening again this year.
“These changes (front of house changes and restructuring of positions) should help reduce the food services subsidy in the immediate year with the long term goal of progressively reducing this subsidy until it can eventually be eliminated,” she explained.
In the 2015 / 2016 year both Fair Grounds and SUS’ catering services were under budget by $117.55 and $5,900, respectively, but the Canoe was not. The restaurant, which brought in a total revenue of $108,600, was still $47,553.90 over budget.
This was only part of a larger trend. The 2010 / 2011 food services budget allocated for $20,000, but the actual amount ended up being $160,944 — over eight times the projected amount. This trend continued into the 2011 / 2012 year when $55,000 was budgeted but $140,263 was spent, and in 2012 / 2013 when the budget initially allowed $80,685 for food services, but then had to be changed to $125,000 at an EGM to allow for Aftermath, the campus restaurant at the time to stay open, because the budgeted amount had been reached after only two months.
In the 2015 / 2016 year, the first year that both the Canoe and Fair Grounds were open, SUS continued the pattern of going over budget, and all of SUS’ food services brought in a total revenue of $247,600. But the totaled expenses, including employment costs, were $281,649.48.
Although the changes are still relatively new, Brar noted that she has already received positive feedback from students.
“So far, student feedback has been amazing,” she said. “Initially, it may have been a bit confusing for returning students to see a new system in place at the Canoe, but students have been responding positively to the changes that have been implemented because of the reduced cost to students and the faster service delivery.”
At this point, SUS is still adjusting to the new changes and doesn’t have any other plans in the works currently.
“We don’t have any other changes planned for the interim,” Brar said. “The Canoe is still a place for students to eat, lounge, study, and socialize.”