A recent string of resignations has left the Student Union Society’s (SUS) food services without any management.
With the recent departure of Shane Potter, SUS services director, and Nathan Unger, manager of Fair Grounds (the student-run coffee shop in the Student Union Building), coupled with last week’s resignation of Cameron Stephens, the restaurant manager of the Canoe, the SUS’s food services are left with none of the original management in place when the SUB opened at the start of this academic year.
SUS president Thomas Davies says the food and beverage services in the SUB will be temporarily managed by Krista Alicia, the Canoe’s chef (a permanent, non-student position).
“Krista, who is our chef, has accepted the position of interim manager,” Davies says. Alicia will oversee the running of the services, while the student positions previously held by Unger and Stephens — who were charged with the daily running of their respective services — will be left empty. Davies says he thinks this is not going to be a problem.
“On a short-term basis that’s not much of a concern; the day-to-day element of this is no concern, and Krista is able to manage a broader picture for a short-term basis,” Davies says.
Though Fair Grounds was closed for the first week of the winter semester, both the coffee shop and Canoe restaurant have otherwise been open during regular hours.
When it comes to permanent, non-student jobs, Davies says the services director position left vacant by Potter will be replaced by a new position that specifically manages food and beverage services.
“We are hiring a food and beverages services director, someone who will have extensive industry experience,” Davies says. “That [new position] is, essentially, a replacement for the position that Shane Potter held.”
However, Potter’s services director position also oversaw other student services as well; Davies notes that the new position does not include those.
“The previous services director also included the campus connector shuttle bus, health and dental, and U-Pass programs,” he says. “We removed those and reallocated responsibility for those and the new person will be focusing exclusively on food and beverage.”
The contracts for the health and dental and shuttle bus services will now be handled by SUS staff members, with Davies saying that the SUS is unsure at this time if they will need to hire a student services coordinator for the U-Pass program.
Until the new food and beverages position is filled, SUS isn’t hiring replacements for Stephens or Unger. Davies says that this leaves some flexibility for the new services director to potentially alter SUS’s food services management structure.
“I’m sure there’s lots that can be improved — we can always improve — and someone with industry experience can help guide us through that,” he explains.
Davies did not comment on how long it will be until a food and beverage services director is hired, saying only that SUS started the hiring process when Potter confirmed his departure.
“We posted through a variety of job boards locally and regionally,” he says. “We have it up for a period of time that we feel is going to be necessary to collect a set of applications.”
The job posting has, as of press time, been online for 30 days. Among other details, the full-time position calls for a minimum of five years of experience, paying $45,000 annually with benefits. “You will be responsible for overseeing 40+ employees and successfully coordinating and directing on the floor food service activities,” the job description reads. “You will strategically develop efficiencies in the operation and the achievement of financial goals, particularly around labour costs.”