Brain food

New contract with Follett may bring improvements to PCC cafeteria and bookstore


When the October meeting adjourned, Follett had been guaranteed another four-year stay at Pima Community College.

Follett has been occupying the bookstore for over 20 years, yet the company only recently obtained a foothold inside the cafeteria.

The company has struggled to sell textbooks in a world of subscription- and online-based buying. The new contract will have the bookstore only promise $700,000 in revenue, a stark contrast from the previous agreement of $1.25 million.

The company also has struggled in selling food services in the cafeteria at West Campus.

The cafeteria has changed from being a full-service food station to only offering a few things, like pizza, cold sandwiches and wraps, soup and the occasional special of the day like burger and fries.

The board members noted that this change was necessary.

“It’s just too pricey to keep that sort of food service,” board member Sylvia Lee said.

“After the initial contract was lost, the cafeteria was pretty terrible,” Alex Fruechtenicht. “Food was overpriced and low quality, as of this semester. It has started to get a little better with more and more deals for lunch and drink combos.”

According to the previous contract: “Follett has agreed to provide an attractive stream of commission revenue to the college and approximately $500,000 in facility investments to upgrade and enhance the current food service areas.”

However, the new contract does specify that $675,000 will be spent toward remodeling the book store, according to the 2017 contract, “This expenditure may include furniture, trade fixtures and equipment that is readily removable.” These improvements are to be approved by the college.

The new contract also changes the revenue amounts that will be given to the college. The previous contracts had 4.5 percent of sales from the food service going to the college, while this year’s revenue promise is zero.

The contract has indrect consequences as well. As the hours for the food service will be shortened depending on the traffic that week, according to Lilianna Grijalva, Follett employee.

Follett also has promised $10,000 in scholarships toward buying books and according to the contract “for each full contract year during the term of this agreement, in the form of gift cards or as an accounts receivable account.”

The company has also promised to match the price of any textbook they have. Instead of spending roughly $200 for your Sociology textbook and extra questions packet, you can match the price to Amazon’s $104.73, and save $50 or more.

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