Students at Roblin Centre steaming over service at campus Tim Hortons
Stefanie Lasuik and Kaitlin Vitt, SPORTS & LIFESTYLE AND NEWS EDITORS
Students at Red River College’s Roblin Centre are at the end of their line.
Posts on social media and talk in the hallways suggest they’re dissatisfied with the service of the on-campus Tim Hortons.
“There is a lot of discussion among the students about it,” said Gabby Joly, a second-year business administration student. “They are terrible there.”
Joly, 25, has had to leave the line to make it to class in time. RRC students typically have 10-minute breaks between classes, so a line longer that requires them to duck out of line. Joly said she relies on her morning coffee to get her through the day.
“It is my life blood,” she said.
It’s not just the wait time making students unhappy. Joly said Tims has mixed up her order, including on Oct. 18. Joly ordered a chicken bacon ranch wrap with chipotle dip for her wedges and got a chipotle wrap with ranch dip.
Aramark runs the food services at the Roblin Centre. The company’s contract is up in June 2017, said Jeff Gill, RRC food services director. Companies will apply to operate food services on campus, from which the college will decide to award a contract. Aramark can re-apply.
Karen Cutler, corporate communications at Aramark, didn’t directly respond to students’ concerns about service on campus. She provided an emailed statement saying the company recognizes Tim Hortons on campus can get busy, and she said Aramark has made changes to accommodate this, like adding the beverage-only express line.
Cutler said a few customers from RRC have talked with Aramark this semester, but the company is “not aware of any significant concerns with service in the location.”
She added that the local management team can meet with students to address issues and discuss feedback.
The Projector investigates
Four editors from The Projector each went to one Tims on campus and one off campus to compare service.
Stefanie Lasuik, sports and lifestyle editor, went to Tims at the Roblin Centre Oct. 14 at 8:04 a.m. There was one customer ahead of her in line. It took six and a half minutes to complete her order of an everything bagel with cream cheese and a small French Vanilla cappuccino.
Kaitlin Vitt, news editor, went to Tims at 2360 McPhillips Ave. in the Leila North neighbourhood on Oct. 14 at 5:20 p.m. There was one customer ahead of Vitt in line. It took two minutes and thirty seconds to complete her order of a French toast bagel with butter and a medium coffee.
Vitt’s order took less than half the time than Lasuik’s.
On Oct. 12, Lasuik went to the Roblin Centre’s Tim Hortons at 2:53 p.m. Ten people stood in line in front of her. When the line hadn’t moved for two minutes, a man ducked under the black tape and left the line. Her order of a small French Vanilla and 10 timbits took 14 minutes from the time she entered the line.
Yet during Vitt’s trip to the off-campus Tim Hortons, the parking lot was full as were the 40 seats inside. But only one person stood in line.
RRC reviews food service
RRC is doing a review of its food services department at the Exchange District Campus and Notre Dame Campus to develop a food service master plan, Gill said.
“It will help us optimize our work while addressing the needs of the students and staff while ensuring we operate in a fiscally responsible manner,” he wrote in an email.
The review started in August and will look at aspects of RRC’s food services, including space, facilities, population and demographics.
At the end of October, Gill said there was a progress report from consultants that outlined site visits, stakeholder interviews and focus groups from earlier in the month.
The final report is expected by the end of November.
The college launched an online survey Oct. 21 as part of the review. Students and staff can complete the survey at rrc.ca/feedback.
This story was updated on Nov. 15, as we incorrectly wrote that Aramark’s contract is up in February 2017. It is actually up in June 2015. We apologize for the error.