Lancer has recently added a taco stand as a replacement for their noodle stand in hopes of becoming more profitable.
Lancer has been a food supplier for Pierce College for over the past two years, but a question has risen over the past couple years: Are they holding up their end of the bargain?
Deanna Frey, senior secretary for the Office of Student Life, was part of the committee that chose to hire Lancer.
“(We) were looking for a company that had healthy food options for students,” Frey said.
Lancer seemed to be a logical choice for the campus. Those presenting the company said they would provide options that were healthy and sourced from local markets. This would benefit both students and the community. Lancer also promised that they would provide multiple options for vegans, vegetarians and those with food allergies.
Frey, who has several food allergies, thought that Lancer was a good option because they were able to prepare and serve food that would not contain allergens or violate dietary restrictions. It was important to her that students with allergies would be able to eat on campus.
Lancer doesn’t seem to be keeping their promises.
Recently, Lancer got rid of the noodle stand and replaced it with a taco bar. Autumn Burk, director of food services, said the reason this change occurred was the lack of products being sold.
“Most students were buying the same menu items from the noodle stand,” Burk said.
This means they had to buy products advertised on the menu that students weren’t consistently purchasing.
“The cost of the products vs. the amount of students buying wasn’t enough,” Burk said.
Students have shared their disappointment with the change.
“ I used to love getting the veggie noodles,” Anastasia Poberezhnaya said.
From a cost perspective, this decision may be the right way to go for Lancer at Pierce College. But, for other items that remain on their menu, they haven’t followed through with the variety they promised two years ago.
For the past few Friday’s they are selling only already made sandwiches. So when it comes to their veggie sandwiches, which they only made if someone orders it, they aren’t sold on Fridays. There are only a handful of vegetarian meals to order and to have veggie sandwiches be taken from the menu on Friday’s limits what students can eat.
The amount of healthy options is limited and when they are consistently gone, the only options left are to go for the more unhealthy choices.
Another issue is that Lancer closes at 2 p.m. or earlier on Fridays, leaving students who are still on campus to fend for their meals elsewhere, shattering the illusion of convenience.
Price is also an issue. Several students have made complaints toward Lancer’s pricing. For most, it’s the reason they don’t buy foods from Lancer, which may have been the reason why the noodle stand wasn’t getting enough profit.
“They are pricey, but they own the monopoly here. It’s purely economics,” student Mark Loveless said.
If Pierce is paying for variety, shouldn’t students get their rightful variety of options if they are paying such high prices? Is Lancer being too selfish?
Card not so rewarding after all.
I would describe myself as a regular customer for Lancer at Pierce College Puyallup. Lancer recently introduced a college cafe rewards card for students, and I have collected points from purchasing their products.
For every dollar spent, cardholders earn one point. Free items are then given away once customers reach 25 points, 50 points, 75 points and so on.
Once I hit the 75-point mark, I was given a list of free or discounted items to choose from. The list said I could get a 50 percent discount on a smoothie, yet it doesn’t sell smoothies.
I tired to order vegan bread, but Lancer does not provide that , either. As a replacement, it does have gluten-free bread.
That still doesn’t help those who are vegan.
The Puyallup Post is the award-winning student news of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2017. Twitter/Instagram @puyalluppost