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Food costs vary around campus

When purchasing food on campus, students must decide what is best for their wallet, most convenient and worth their money.

But prices on campus vary from location to location.

While gum and Luna bars are cheaper at the USF Pharmacy in the Marshall Student Center (MSC) than in the MSC Food Court or POD Markets which are operated by Aramark, USFs dining services contractor
vending machines on the whole were cheaper when provisions were available.

But many students said their primary factor for shopping is convenience.

Corinn Beem, a freshman majoring in civil engineering, said he buys food items most often on campus because of the convenience and easy access.

The prices can be a little high, but when you need to buy something, you need it and there isnt anywhere else to buy it right away, so you have to buy on campus, she said.

Chelsea Savona, a junior majoring in biomedical science, said she buys her drinks from vending machines and lunch at the MSC.

Convenience is the biggest factor, especially when you are rushing in between classes and also when you dont want to lose your parking spot, she said.

But buying on-campus is usually around the same cost as buying off-campus.

For instance, a Homewrecker burrito at Moes on campus costs the same amount as the same burrito off campus at Moes on North Dale Mabry: $7.49 for a chicken burrito or $7.99 for a steak burrito. The Chick-fil-A in the MSC offers food at a price lower than the ones off campus, about $0.22 less for a chicken sandwich or $0.40 less for a salad.

Our goal is to offer students the greatest variety, convenience, quality and value in the on-campus dining
program, Jenna Engel, marketing manager for Aramark, said.

According to Engel, Aramark obtains its prices from competitive shopping and bases its prices on local
establishments in the area that sell similar products. Each semester, the company does a price analysis to ensure that they are at or below the prices in other locations.

Engel said she could not provide a breakdown of costs and profits for Aramark.

We are constantly conducting research to ensure that the products we offer meet the needs and dining preferences of our customers, she said.