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Coffee craze: a request for better Swemroma’s pricing information

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October 6, 2015

12:08 PM

The extension location of Aromas Cafe in the Earl Gregg Swem Library is a magical place, a haven for tired and hungry students to get a caffeine fix or a nice meal. I am one of these students. I get in line and buy a bagel sandwich and iced latte. But when I reach the register, I am surprised to see that this has cost me over $10. I look at the receipt and find my bagel sandwich cost $8.99. I would not have bought it if I knew it was that price.

“It would be a lot easier if the prices were published on the wall behind the cash register, in plain view where customers can take their time before lining up to make a purchase.”

Recently, I have become increasingly frustrated with the lack of price stickers and markers on many of the items Swem Aromas sells. Almost all food items in the refrigerator and along the line route to the cash register have no price on them. This includes many of the sandwiches, bagels, pastries and cookies offered to students. Physical copies of the menu are few and far between, and even if you are lucky enough to find one, the only information provided on them is about drinks.

The lack of information regarding price makes it harder for students to take their budget into consideration when deciding whether or not to buy products. As a freshman, I had to buy things to figure out how much they cost. Of course, I could just ask the cashier, but the line often moves at a busy pace. It would be a lot easier if the prices were published on the wall behind the cash register, in plain view where customers can take their time before lining up to make a purchase.

“Most coffee shops and cafes list out drink prices in large font in plain view above the cash register, with food prices listed next to or on food items.”

Also, because Swem Aromas is the only coffee shop on campus that takes Flex, students who primarily use Dining Dollars don’t have many alternative options. This makes the lack of pricing information even more frustrating, as one can be left making blind shopping decisions with money meant to cover more than coffee-shop snacking. And while the fact that they are the only coffee shop with Flex means they can do whatever they please, it would be considerate of them to realize we are college students.

I’m not asking Aromas to lower prices (although that would be nice) — price is determined by market factors like demand and supply. I just request that Aromas do a better job of advertising product prices to students, as Dining Dollars can run out very quickly if you buy things without being able to think about cost and make an informed decision. Most coffee shops and cafes list out drink prices in large font in plain view above the cash register, with food prices listed next to or on food items. This would make it a lot easier to figure things out quickly and prevent people from finding out how much things cost after the item has already been bought.

Email Mia Chand at [email protected]

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  • Mia Chand