From January 2023, you will notice an updated menu in our venues. This update incorporates three things:
It reflects customer feedback and sales data from the autumn term
It ensures that we are best positioned to delivery consistent quality
It reflects the current state of inflation
In developing the menu, we have balanced offering a product range that reflects the demands of our members with the context that we are a charity and our financial model requires that our venues do not make a loss. It is important to remember that we do not aim to make any profit from our venues – we aim to break even as we are not able to subsidise the offer. Therefore, we charge what it costs us to deliver. We have made the decision to remove items from the menu that weren't popular or were no longer providing value of money to our members. Despite our best efforts, we have also experienced operational challenges over the last months, in particular around our food offer. Our new menu is designed to reduce any inconsistency or disappointment arising as a result.
Some of the cost increases we have experienced over the last few months have been staggering – for example, the cost of the curly fries we buy in has increased by 40% since October 2022! When suppliers increase prices, we look for ways in which we can reduce the impact on you; either by replacing with other items, adjusting recipes, or looking at alternative suppliers. Unfortunately, the current global food market makes it very challenging at the moment and we are without choice but to pass on some of these increases.
We have taken the decision to hold prices of our fizzy soft drinks, Carling, Carling Cider and House Spirits, so that we continue to offer a range of lower priced drinks without increase. We have also introduced an ‘…on toast’ range that offers lower priced grub. We will continue to target our food and drinks offers at offering value at lower price points.
We know that inflation will continue to be higher than normal for some time, although we hope that it continues to decline. Under current projections, we do not envisage needing to increase prices again this term. However, we will keep this under constant review to ensure that our prices remain as low as possible whilst meeting the criteria of our financial model.
We appreciate that the majority of the changes we have made will not be something that you celebrate (we aren’t either!), but hope that you understand the difficult decisions we have had to make to ensure that your venues operate in a financially sustainable way. We are always pleased to hear your feedback, so please feel free to get in touch via email@example.com.
Imperial College Union