Food snuck out of Rastall is costing Bon Appétit big bucks.
Rastall Dining Hall loses ten percent of food served annually and approximately $290,000 to students who break the rules and grab extra food on the way out of the campus cafeteria, according Bon Appétit Director of Operations, Derek Hanson.
An average of ten students are stopped per week for sneaking out more than the permitted amount of one hand of fruit per meal. Students who are caught in violation of the policy are stopped and given a verbal warning, according to Hanson.
Even if a student is caught taking food out, any food they have cannot be recovered.
“Typically they have a choice to finish what they have taken or throw it out depending on what it is,” Hanson said. “But if I see a student eating a quick sandwich, I’m not gonna make them throw it out.”
While most cases are minor, blatant stealing does occur.
These cases usually premeditated and necessitate disciplinary action and an appearance before the Honor Council, according to Hanson.
Despite weekly violations, Rastall policies are not publicly advertised. They are instead communicated verbally, according to Hanson.
“In the beginning of the year, we have a lot of students that don’t know. Usually someone will come up and tell them the rule,” said Hanson.
Regardless of staff efforts, Hanson recognizes that much still goes unnoticed.
“We can’t be everywhere, we can’t see everything,” he said. “There’s a lot of replenishing we have to do.”
Rising food costs are an indication that students are taking more than usual. “Especially during block breaks, we know that students will come in, bring in a backpack, and take full loaves of bread,” he said. “And we’ll see that in our food costs,”
In addition to food, Rastall also loses a significant amount of utensils, cups, and bowls annually. The school replaces these items several times a year, usually averaging $900 per order, according to Hanson.
Hanson emphasized the function of Rastall as a community gathering place, not a to-go kiosk.
“We do have locations where you can come in, get something, and go – Rastall is not that,” said Hanson.
Bon Appétit recently made ‘Rastall to-go’ an option with the Ecotainer, which allows students to take items to-go lieu of dining in. Students give their student ID to the cashier, fill their container, and get their ID back when they are finished.
Despite the creation of the Ecotainer, Rastall has stayed true to its roots.
“The school wanted Rastall to be the community place where everyone enjoys a meal together,” Hanson said. “It’s made for that – to eat, converse, and have fun.”