As a result of last week’s extended power outages on campus, Bon Appetit lost approximately $15,000 worth of refrigerated food, according to Bon Appetit Resident District Manager Michael Strumpf.
The majority of the losses occurred in the Usdan University Center (Usdan) and at WesShop, Strumpf said, and were mostly confined to frozen foods. However, Strumpf noted that the losses could have been much worse.
“The walk-in [freezers] stayed shut and the temperatures held pretty well,” he said. “We were watching it very closely throughout the weekend.”
Strumpf said that the Bon Appetit staff was able to make use of a back-up generator that had been utilized for the Squash Courts Building construction adjacent to Usdan. During the blackout, the generator was used to power electric slicers that allowed Bon Appetit staff to serve students nearly 3,000 sandwiches.
“We just pulled together from everything we had in prep and just pulled it off,” Strumpf said.
During the power outages, Bon Appetit handed out free cold bagged lunches to students on Sunday afternoon and Monday morning. Lines for the food on Sunday reached from Usdan to Allbritton, with many students waiting in line for an hour to receive the sandwiches, snacks, and drinks.
Strumpf added that by Tuesday evening, following the restoration of power, operations had mostly returned to normal, and that by last Thursday, WeShop’s inventory had been restocked to normal levels. The University is now in the process of looking into sources of backup power for Usdan in the event of future power failures, according to Strumpf.
Strumpf said that despite the problems they faced, Bon Appetit staff were eager to help in the wake of the snowstorm. Staff carried boxes of food upstairs for preparation from Usdan’s basement to the dining levels during the blackout.
“When the power goes out it shuts down the gas to the building so we can’t cook even if we wanted to,” Strumpf said. “Down [in the basement] when the lights go out you can’t even see your hand in front of your face. I’m so grateful for the [Bon Appetit] staff who worked so hard despite the situation.”