Students, faculty, and staff have at one time or another entered the Student Center, gotten in the cafeteria line, and sat down in the dining area to eat.
Carson’s Catering and Food Concepts (CCFC) has had the opportunity the last couple of years to integrate into the Rose State family, by feeding it. However, like any family there are sometimes disagreements.
Carson’s Catering and Food Concepts provides pastries, Starbucks and lunches to students and faculty in the Java Rose.
Photo by Josi Weaver
CCFC has been operating at Rose State for the last two years and has met with some stiff opposition from people around the campus. Mr. John Carson, president of CCFC, took an opportunity to sit down and talk about some of these issues.
For CCFC to operate or make changes on campus, they must submit proposals for approval to the school administration, reading all the services they provide. These services include banquets, the running and maintaining of the dining area, including the Java Rose, and other special events where food will be served.
CCFC buys its food from Ben E. Keith, who is the largest supplier in the southern U.S. All the food is Grade A as required.
“We try to get food from local suppliers as well as from Ben E. Keith’s,” Carson said.
Changes are full of bittersweet experiences
With all changes, there are some drawbacks. The overzealous amount of food served at the low prices on campus had to be changed, as it was not practical or beneficial, and the campus was losing money.
It is common knowledge a machine that cannot be maintained, either by itself or with help, often becomes obsolete or of no practical use.
“The old system was losing money, and was not able to maintain itself,” Mr. Carson said.
Thus, the school administrators went to CCFC for help in not only finding a manageable way to feed the faculty, staff, and students, but to also increase productivity.
Critiques offer a chance for change
CCFC has received a lot of criticism since their time at the college. They don’t let it get to them though.
“Anytime there is criticism it gives us a chance to do better,” Carson said.
Some of the complaints the faculty had included unsatisfactory food service, over pricing of food, and not having any faculty or staff discounts.
When CCFC made its proposal to the school administration, Mr. Carson said the administrators did not ask for faculty and staff discounts so it was not added to the proposal.
Competitive prices vs. reasonable gain
CCFC has some competition around Midwest City that students might use as an alternative to what is available on campus. However, the more popular the restaurant is the more the customer might end up paying.
“I believe we are at least 20% under what other establishments charge. If people were to go to Jersey Mikes, they might pay $9 plus for a meal, or if someone were to go to McDonalds, most value meals run between six and seven dollars if not more. Our prices are not that much different.”
In regard to how prices might change due to the current economic market Mr. Carson said that “because of the drought, the cost of good[s] I purchase will go up and I have no control over the prices charged to me. But Rose State has to [first] approve any increase I recommend to them.”