Gourmet Dining//photo courtesy of Adrianna Caraballo

By: Adrianna Caraballo, Co-Editor.

The cafeteria service hours at all locations have been changed due to a new contract between Bergen Community College and Gourmet Dining. The main cafeteria, Ender Hall Cafe, Bergen Pizza and Dunkin Donuts will all receive reduced hours as a result of the new contract, among other changes.

According to Rosanne Aiello, Director of Gourmet Dining, the new contract was created because of a severe lack of business.

“We were losing too much money. The school came to us and said ‘What can we do to keep you; and we said ‘We have to redesign everything, so that we’re not leaving,” Aiello said.

That was the compromise between the school and Gourmet Dining to keep their services and to keep them content.

   “We had to cut the hours, cut the staffing (and) create an environment where we’re not losing our shirts,” Aiello said.

This has been going on for some time; and within this year, Gourmet Dining has lost more than they gained in profit.

   “In the year 2016 and 2017, we lost a lot of money, over 400 thousand dollars,” said Aiello.

   Bergen Community College is the only contract Gourmet Dining has with a community college. Aiello had stated that it is difficult to make money at a community college.

   In addition to the changed hours, the Sono Mexican station has been eliminated due to it being too costly to maintain.

“Yeah, we took that out because it just wasn’t making any money. It’s very expensive to run that Sonos. It’s a lot of prep work; it needs two people to run it,” said Aiello.

Nevertheless, there are still pre-made burritos, which can be picked up, that are put under a warming light.

   As of right now, the cafeteria will not turn a student away; but when the C Fresh Market comes, that will change.

   “Once the C Fresh Market comes, then the cafeteria will close every day at 2:30 p.m.,” Aiello said.

   The C Fresh Market is a substitute for the cafeteria and will be accessible at all times.

   “It’s a smart food market set up in the back of the cafeteria, and it’s a bunch of vending machines that have fresh food, sandwiches, salads, it’s all self-serviced,” Aiello said.

       SGA is not unaware of all these changes. They personally met with Gourmet Dining, more specifically Aiello, every week last year to discuss food options and lunch specials.

   “SGA really worked with me. We had a lot of meetings, and I felt we really communicated well. They asked for more tofu, they asked for more vegan and we really tried to work with them and do the best we could,” she said.

SGA’s current president Sibora Peca sees both sides of the spectrum, the needs of the students and the needs of Gourmet Dining.

   “At the end of the day, even though they’re Gourmet Dining, and they’re at Bergen community college, they’re a business. For a business to run they need to have customers,” Peca said.

   The future between Gourmet Dining and Bergen Community College is uncertain right now. As for the relationship between Gourmet dining and SGA, Aiello hopes that their weekly meetings continue. “I’m always willing to meet with anybody,” Aiello said.