Campus News

Students complain about rise in prices at Tradewinds

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Tradewinds_CROPPEDA rise in prices for those paying for meals at Tradewinds Restaurant with Bethel Bucks has caused a stir among students. Beacon reporters gathered information about the menu changes over a hot breakfast at the restaurant Wednesday morning, Aug. 26. Those paying with Bethel Bucks are now given a separate menu when they are seated. The Bethel menu reflects a 10 percent increase in prices across the board. Jim Metherd, director of food services, spoke on behalf of Sodexo. He explained that Sodexo had raised rates by 5 percent, but that the restaurants affected (Tradewinds, Polito’s, and Puerto Vallarta) were not permitted to raise prices for students. The restaurants could choose to discontinue the Bethel Bucks program if they were unwilling to comply with the higher rates. Metherd said Sodexo is currently conducting an investigation of the situation with Tradewinds. “In a nutshell we pay a fee to Sodexo to have Bethel students use Bethel Bucks at our restaurant,” said Tradewinds Restaurant owner Steve Nelson. “Sodexo raised those fees this year. Those fees went up 5 percent.” Of course, this still does not account for the 5 percent extra that students are being charged above the increase in rates Sodexo has instituted. When asked why students are paying 10 percent more with Bethel bucks, Nelson said, “We also have to account for other fees associated with Bethel Bucks.” As a result of these recent changes, students who have struggled to make their Bethel Bucks last the entire semester in the past may find that their Bethel Bucks disappear more quickly. This may result in a decrease in how many students frequent these businesses and how often they do so. However, Nelson remained positive, saying that more changes are in the works. “Another part of this issue is that we’re in the mix of doing an entire menu change and we don’t have the menu done yet for Bethel Bucks,” he said. “We are in the process of making adjustments.” Nelson emphasized that students paying with cash or credit cards can still receive the 10 percent student discount as in previous years. “Bethel students are very important to our business,” he said. “We don’t want to lose them.”
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