The South Side Cafe Implements New Charges

By Nikki Rita
News Editor

South Side Café, located at the bottom of Mountain View residence hall, has recently implemented new charges towards groups who wish to host an event in the café. This charge is to ensure that the Café continues to run.

The South Side Café is a student run business. It was originally handled by the Student Government Association, but was passed on to Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE), a club “in which business students can involve themselves with practical, hands-on projects to hone their business skills prior to entering the workplace,” wrote Spenser Warren, student manager of the South Side Café. The café serves ice cream, pastries, brownies, cookies, and milkshakes, as well as drinks like soda, coffee, and tea.

“We have a strong reputation for fast, friendly service and cheap prices,” wrote Warren.

A document was drawn up last March and sent to various groups concerning the new policy. The idea was to “maintain greater organization of which groups will be in the café, on what dates, and at which times,” writes Warren. For groups that wish to host a dance or have events catered by Messiah College Dining Services, there is now a charge of $7.50 an hour.

This charge covers the cost of labor. Warren wrote, “We have tracked financial data on the nights in which dances were held for the last four semesters and noticed… that we lose a large amount of money on nights that dances are hosted in the café.”

Warren believes that this is because people “who see lights shut off and the cafe turned into a dance floor are usually too intimidated to come inside… Also, people who are present at the dance are usually hot and sweaty and do not wish to consume dairy products, which is the primary base of our menu.” The café also loses money when free food is provided by events catered by Dining Services.

Another charge has been implemented as well. A $10 fee will be charged to those who do not leave the café in the condition that it was found in. “We have had issues in the past with groups leaving food stuck to tables, trash on the floor, and furniture in disarray. Because the South Side employees are also responsible for maintaining the tables, floor, trash cans, games, and furniture, this charge will hold groups accountable for cleaning up after themselves so our employees do not have to work extra hours to clean up after each group,” wrote Warren.

The charge “is simply a safety net to ensure that the café does not lose money and will at least break even financially,” wrote Warren.

The charge will help cover whatever labor is needed for a hosted event, as well as the possibility of no one purchasing food during an event. But things change. “I wouldn’t even say that this charge is going to stay as it is.”

The charge has only been in effect for a few months and SIFE is still assessing it. “However, based on its use with over 10 groups during the springtime, it seems to be successful.  We are always willing to accept anyone’s input.”

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