Union’s Dining Policies, Part 2: Price Comparison

Allyson Bennett, News Editor

Union students have long complained about on-campus declining option prices being expensive, but in comparison to similar off-campus options, this is not usually the case, according to a Concordiensis analysis. Students can typically find that food prices on campus are cheaper than food prices off campus. 

Prices for items on declining have not changed since the previous summer. However, nationwide, food prices have risen 7.7% from April 2022 to April 2023, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. In particular, the price of eggs rose 4.82% nationwide, but this price
difference was not reflected in egg prices on campus. The average price for all purchases at declining restaurants is under $10, according to Timothy Forte. Union’s dining staff also aim to keep prices low for students in comparison to the national economy and other nearby colleges
and universities.

Concordiensis analyzed items at the Starbucks in Wold, the 807 Deli, and Dutch Hollow, then compared them to prices of items at the Starbucks in Niskayuna Square and Alltown Fresh. Alltown Fresh is a gas station near College Park Hall that also serves deli sandwiches, salads, and breakfast sandwiches.

Concordiensis found that there are differences in these prices. Generally, prices of items at the Starbucks in the Wold center appear to be $1-2 cheaper than prices at a nearby Starbucks in Niskayuna Square. Prices at the 807 Deli for sandwiches and salads are also typically cheaper than comparable items at the nearby Alltown Fresh. However, prices of breakfast wraps and sandwiches at Dutch Hollow can be more expensive than prices of similar items at Alltown Fresh, depending on the add ons at Dutch Hollow. For example, meat on a breakfast wrap at Dutch Hollow costs $1.59 to $2.29, whereas at Alltown Fresh, these meats may be included in the base price.

In addition, if students purchase items on declining dollars at any on campus dining location, they are not taxed. By contrast, any food item off campus is taxed.

It is important to note that Union’s Hospitality services are always open to feedback and change. Students can email [email protected] to get in touch with Timothy Forte, the Director of Hospitality, or scan the “Text a Manager” QR code around Reamer Campus Center to fill out a form.