Not just a pretty picture
By Becky Somerville
Prospects of the use of the Western 1 card at the Wave and The Spoke are in the air.
According to University Students' Council President Ian Armour, who is striving to fulfill a campaign promise, the implementation of the meal plan at The Spoke and the Wave would encourage students to stay on campus and provide easy access, availability and convenience. "Basically it's a benefit to the students," he said.
Frank Miller, general manager of Food Services is in discussion with Armour on his recommendation. The basis of the deal leans towards the use of the meal card at the Wave.
A possible agreement could come from the movement of Food Services, presently in Somerville House, to a kiosk in the higher-traffic area of the atrium in the University Community Centre, Armour said.
Although no deals have been made, negotiations are pending and Armour and Miller will get back to the drawing board once the dust from a busy summer settles, said Miller.
The notion of employing the meal card at both USC-owned bars is primarily driven by student requests, said Miller. In a Food Services student survey, the Wave was one of the top requests for Western 1 card usage, in addition to the more popular fast food franchises such as Pizza Pizza and Wendy's which were added to the meal plan this year.
"There will be zero tolerance of alcohol," Miller added in respect to the potential use of the Western 1 card at a licensed establishment.
While Mark Serré, manager of The Spoke, was in favour of the meal card concept, he said it would not likely increase their business more than 10 to 15 per cent. "I would expect not that big of an increase in our business because we're already at capacity now," he said.
Although the use of the Western 1 card may add to weekend business, The Spoke already has high customer loyalty and the competitive advantage of being a licensed, smoking establishment, Serré added.
While Susan Grindrod, senior director of Housing and Food Services expressed indifference to the potential use of the meal plan at The Spoke and the Wave, Serré felt the concept would be looked at unfavourably by Food Services since it may displace business from CentreSpot.
Mark Wellington, manager of the Wave, was optimistic about the idea, saying they had extra capacity and the expertise to handle an increase in business.
"It's my estimation that we'll have tens and thousands of increased sales," he said.
Since students have already invested in the Western 1 card they can save money on cab fare and have table service by eating at the Wave, Wellington added.