Eagle’s Nest business patterns change

Hallie Carrino

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With much talk of a university-wide debt crisis and budget cuts, many students are left wondering where Ashland University will look to make ends meet.

One of the places that AU students have worried about is the Eagle’s Nest.  Thoughts of reduce staffing have made some nervous that the Nest might be cut completely, with almost a whole population of students (i.e. the Freshman Class) not being allowed to go to the Nest. 

However, this is not the case.   While customer counts may be going down it is not significant. 

“We review all of the financials…on-going,” said Matt Portner, director of Auxillary Services. “Once a month…when the numbers come in we sit down as a team, myself, and the Eagle’s Nest managers and go over numbers…if it looks like we need to make adjustments in labor, we certainly will.” 

Portner said that if there is a perception of labor being down, he doesn’t see it. 

“Maybe there were times where it may have looked like there was low staffing…let’s say we go down $1000 in revenue for the semester, that doesn’t mean we need to cut a body because you still have to have someone manning deli, register, etc.” . 

With only a few days of August to calculate and a little over half of the month of September out of the way, making a comparison to last year’s sales in the Eagle’s Nest is complex. As such, it difficult to fully understand the impact that the change of meal plan structure has had because it is too early.

Portner calculated that compared to last year’s September with 13 selling days to this year with 13 selling days left, there was about 1000-1500 less transactions equating to about 17 transactions an hour.  

“We didn’t expect a whole population of students (freshman) to have zero impact on the Eagle’s Nest,” said Portner. 

He did add that they have seen more students put Eagle Dollars on their cards than before, suggesting that freshman are still going to the Nest. 

On a better note, Portner has said that Late Night Convo has gone up to about 300 individuals a night, nearly tripling its original attendance. 

He said that while the flexibility of meal plans is great, ultimately it is all about value.  “Would you like all you could eat or one portion,” he said. 

“To hang over in Convo for an hour, and have more than one helping….you can do it, the value is there.”

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