ICU's executive committee has asked for a review of the lunchtime catering option in dBs as the current sandwhich bar is losing money. In a controversial executive meeting today, Deputy President (Finance & Services) Jon Matthews presented the results of a comprehensive analysis of Beit's trading services.
The figures show that whilst the refurbishment hit everywhere hard, the catering offering in dBs is making losses due to a lack of customers. In the past few years queues for the dBs sandwhich bar had been quite long, often stretching right back to the doors. Since the opening of the refurbished JCR - co-inciding with the refurbishment - patrons have not returned, lured by lower prices and higher quality offered by College.
dBs as a venue is looking very sorry for itself of late; half of the lights appear to be broken or off most of the time, with tables and chairs stacked up, limiting the number of people able to enter the venue to sit down and eat.
During filming of stoic tv's "Ask the President" on Tuesday ICU President John Collins described dBs (the room, not the catering) as "atrocious" and "a dump". However, nothing further is due to be done to the room for at least 18 months, as the "masterplan" will not return to the ground floor until at least the next phase is complete.
The net result of these problems was for the DPFS to recommend the closure of the dBs sandwhich bar, with a review of what to replace it with. Options include a different food offering or perhaps the option of sub-letting the space to an external provider.
Catering in da Vinci's and the bars now seem to be performing well after a drop due to the refurbishment. There are however serious concerns with the trading operations, with Mr Collins stating there was risk of "wiping out our reserves", going on to say he was not sure "if we are going to make a profit this year".
Beit Towers is increasingly showing signs of collapsing in on itself, with poor communication seeming to be a major problem. Two recent executive committees have had disagreements between staff and sabbaticals about trading figures, with today's being especially harsh. It is unusual for a sabbatical to be analysing operational figures, as analysis and response to competition such as the JCR is well within the remit of staff to handle, but this appears to not have been done.
An anonymous source indicated to Live! that uncertainties over the future of Beit's operations are causing concern amongst staff, with rumours that the whole lot will be farmed out to College bit by bit. DPFS Jon Matthews stated quite aggressively that he had no intention of handing Beit's services to College, but was repeatedly cut off by ICU President John Collins when asked about the future of the Union Shop.
Communication between sabbaticals and staff is showing a concerning breakdown, perhaps requiring heads to be bashed together to correct it.