One of the things that many university students have in common is a love of coffee. That wonderful drink that fuels so many through late night work and study sessions and those marathon prep sessions that always seem to accompany exams.
WLUSU understands this and to that end has recently announced the opening of a new coffee kiosk in the RCW lobby. The kiosk will be solely owned by the Student’s Union, unlike the William’s franchise also operated by the SU.
The kiosk will be named in honour of Dave Prang, due to his contributions to Laurier Brantford students over the years.
Plans for a kiosk of this sort were established in the design stages of RCW, meaning most of the infrastructure is already in place.
In addition, most of the kiosk is being prefabricated offsite and moved to RCW for installation, which should ensure a rapid start-up.
In terms of operation, the kiosk will start off small scale with coffee and tea, some food may be brought over from William’s. The coffee itself will be supplied by the Blue Dog Cafe so students can be assured of its quality.
While some students may be wondering why WLUSU would invest in a second coffee shop, a good deal of planning went into the decision. WLUSU has operated William’s since 2008, and in that time the franchise has lost just over $700,000.
This is a large loss but not an entirely unexpected one, according to Holly Kaiser, Executive Vice President of WLUSU. New businesses tend to take a while to become profitable and William’s was never planned to be a major source of income for WLUSU but rather to provide students with lounge space and a student restaurant, something Laurier Brantford lacks without having its own cafeteria, she continued.
Despite the rough years past, Kaiser believes its important to keep Williams operating.
“I’m very confident that if we keep William’s going it will turn into a thriving business,” Kaiser said.
As a result of William’s current financial state, the 10% discount previously enjoyed by students has been dropped this year.
Kaiser explains. “10% off was a non-creative attempt to pacify students and that’s not what we’re looking to do… the opportunity that it presents is it gives the Laurier Brantford Students Union a way to work with Williams to offer unique discounts.”
In order to try and limit their losses with Williams, WLUSU has recently made internal staffing changes and is hoping the new coffee kiosk will shake things up. The kiosk is intended to be a very fast grab and go location where students can pick up coffee in between, or on the way to classes.
The hope is that this will help relieve much of the congestion which is frequent at Williams and help the larger franchise focus on their food service, which has always been William’s primary goal.