March 19, 2004  


SLAC Cafeteria Prices—Why Are They Higher Now?

By Jerry Jobe

Many of you have noticed that SLAC cafeteria prices were recently raised. This has led to several inaccurate reports regarding cafeteria operations and how its prices are determined. To set the record straight, I will describe how the cafeteria is operated and how SLAC is involved.

How the Cafeteria is Operated

The cafeteria is operated by a private concessionaire under contract to SLAC. The Lab provides the facility, utilities, maintenance and some supplies. The concessionaire provides the food service in the cafeteria, catering services on site and vending machine service.

SLAC’s Involvement in Cafeteria Operations

Menu offerings and prices are established by the concessionaire. As food service professionals, the concessionaire’s job is to ensure a wide variety of quality foods at reasonable prices while covering their costs and also achieving desired profit margins. This combination is not always possible. To help make that possible, SLAC subsidizes the concessionaire’s operations up to a maximum of $35,000 per year.

Why Prices Have Gone Up

Due to various factors, including lower-than-projected catering business, the concessionaire has been losing money at a rate that will exceed the maximum subsidy. When the concessionaire realized this, they approached us with the problem in the hope that SLAC would increase the subsidy.

SLAC’s response was that the subsidy could not be raised. However, the concessionaire was free to adjust the menu and/or prices as necessary to cover costs and make the operation viable. After careful evaluation of the situation, the concessionaire decided to raise prices in early March.

If losses continue to be excessive, the concessionaire may find it necessary to take additional action.

Contact: Jerry Jobe (BSD) Ext. 4245,


The Stanford Linear Accelerator Center is managed by Stanford University for the US Department of Energy

Last update Tuesday March 16, 2004 by Emily Ball