Last week, Forbes Family Cafe, located in the Huang Engineering Center, implemented changes to the pricing of its hot food and salad bar items. Rather than having a flat price of $7.25 for a hot food or salad plate, Forbes will be charging by weight, at 57 cents per ounce for hot food and 52 cents per ounce for salad items.
According to Jocelyn Breeland, director of communications for Residential & Dining Enterprises (R&DE), which runs Forbes, this change took place in order to maintain the financial sustainability of the cafe.
Breeland explained that the $7.25 rate was not economical for the cafe. The original flat price was previously based on market research that assumed consumers would put about 13 ounces of food into the 13-ounce bowls provided, however, consumers of Forbes were taking much more than just that.
“A random sampling conducted earlier this year indicated the average was about 25 ounces,” Breeland wrote, in an email to The Daily. “Selling nearly twice the food at the same low price was not financially sustainable for Forbes.”
Forbes’ opening during the summer hinged on the decision for a new price system, Breeland said. Forbes Cafe could only be open if a new price structure was set in place, resulting in the price change in the summer.
Since the implementation of the price-by-weight payment system, the average weight for a hot food bowl has been 12.42 ounces, for an average price of $7.02, according to sampling done by R&DE. The average weight of the salad bowl has been 11.42, for an average price of $5.94.
Contact Catherine Zaw at czaw13 ‘at’ stanford.edu.