The Student Union Building (SUB) has seen a major decrease in traffic with the majority of classes moving online, causing a decrease in food services offered at the SUB.
Due to the lack of sales, the Tim Hortons has been forced to temporarily close. The franchise served its last coffee on October 15, but plans to reopen once in-person classes resume.
“Whenever that might be, we will be looking forward to it,” said Vice-President Academic, George MacLean.
MacLean expressed the hope that UNB had as the fall semester began, explaining that they opened Tim Hortons to give food services a trial run. The end results were not what MacLean wanted, as there were not enough customers to outweigh running costs.
“It’s disappointing, because it’s another way that we’ve seen how the pandemic has affected our daily lives. Even our routine things like going to get coffee is no longer possible,” MacLean said, regretfully.
The university has been getting daily reports from Sodexo, the company that operates the franchise, on how the customer base has not been high enough to cover costs. The agreement they have states that UNB will cover the remaining cost for Sodexo if no profit is being made for their company.
Ultimately, the university has been losing money by keeping Tim Hortons open, which was the biggest reason for the decision to temporarily close the franchise.
“If you’ve ever seen the lineup at say nine o’clock to ten o’clock, you would see dozens and dozens and even hundreds of people going through. We’re having days now where it is only a handful of people, maybe 20 at most,” Maclean said, illustrating the drastic changes due to the pandemic.
As the Tim Hortons workers are Sodexo employees, it is the responsibility of Sodexo to find them new assignments. MacLean feels the employees are very understanding, but he’s sad to see them go.
“They knew it was probably a matter of time before we had to close down – I think they were really appreciative of the people who did come…” MacLean said. “These are our colleagues; we care about them. Our day has a little bit of a boost and is brighter when we see their faces behind the counter.”