The food services offered on campus will change starting winter quarter, as Lancer Hospitality’s contract with SCC ends in December.
They currently service the Coffee Spot and the three hot food stations in the cafeteria of the PUB.
Chief Financial Officer Bill Saraceno said that the food service on campus is running at a financial loss for the college.
Furthermore, SCC is looking to improve other aspects of its food service too, by providing cheaper options and a wider variety of products offered.
SCC sent out a bid in September for new food services, but thus far has only received a single offer from Avanti Markets.
Additionally, SCC is looking to contract food trucks. So far, they’ve received one offer: a Venezuelan food truck.
In The Lead
Avanti Markets, a company that specializes in vending machines, is looking to provide food services for SCC’s main buildings, including the PUB and the residence hall.
Their smart vending machines offer many options for payment, compatible with credit and debit cards, as well as rechargeable cards, which function similarly to ORCA passes. The machines also give the option to register a fingerprint directly on the machine in order to authorize purchases and mobile pay. However, they don’t take cash.
The Avanti Market kiosks function with an internet connection.
Avanti Markets also provides food services for other small institutions throughout the state of Washington, such as Lake Washington Institution of Technology (formerly known as Lake Washington Technical College).
“If we look at the results at Lake Washington Technical College, they are making a small profit of $1,000 to $2,000 per month,” Saraceno said. “Which means lower costs for students.”
Doug Wozeniak, Senior Vice President of Corporate Sales and Customer Relations of Avanti Markets NW, presented his company’s products to students at a tasting session. The selection offered different types of packaged food like chips, pretzels and samples of pepperoni sandwiches.
Wozeniak added that the Avanti Markets kiosks are customizable depending on the sales and preferences of the campus population.
He also stated that the Avanti Markets kiosks won’t offer hot food, and that each one will be equipped with a small camera as a security measure.
If SCC signs a contract with Avanti Markets, the kitchen space currently occupied by Lancer would be closed off, Saraceno said in an email. The food trucks could fill the necessity for hot food, as both the trucks and Avanti Markets could be enough to fill SCC’s stomachs.
“That way, our students and staff would have a choice for hot food or Avanti fresh foods with snacks, fruit and vegetable options with salads and sandwiches and microwave entrees,” Saraceno said.
The SCC Foundation will provide vending machines for the outlying buildings on campus where Avanti Markets won’t be situated, like the music and nursing buildings.
Alexa Saihaan, an SCC student who regularly eats on campus, enjoys the food offered at Sabino’s Deli in the PUB’s Main Dining Room. However, she has a few gripes with the food service: “I think the variety of the food could improve. It never changes throughout the year.”
“I also wish the cafeteria remained open until much later,” she said.
Likewise, students Jayne Johnson and Angelica Dampier appreciate the convenience of having food readily available on campus.
Nonetheless, they both had suggestions to enhance the service: “We need gluten free options … organic options like apples and better-looking fruit,” said Johnson.
Dampier said she’d like to see a lot less plastic on campus, and thinks that it would be “really beneficial” to have more compostable options.
Vice President for Student, Equity and Success Marissa Herrera said that one of the advantages of Avanti Markets would be that food would be available to students at all times. However, she also points out that as of right now, no decision has been made.
Saraceno said that he believes there will be no more food forums, and that the decision on the food service contract “will be made soon.”