Let’s talk about that dent in our wallets. You know the all too familiar one that seems to have left an impression after we purchase food on campus? Perhaps with the promise of two new vendors, Treats Express and Rex’s Cafe, this dynamic will change.
Earlier in April, Treats closed down and went under renovations during the summer and earlier part of this year. However with the newly opened store, with a much different visual aesthetic, students can expect more options and an affordable cost. The location’s manager is Anam Malik, is a 26 year-year graduate from UOIT who frequented the campus and wanted to increase the diversity of food options available to students.
“When I took over the restaurant, the Treats brand was bought out by the parent company and they wanted to revamp the menu, which I agreed with totally because I did not see myself [providing the same food as the former tenant]. At the same time, they wanted to fully renovate so with this new menu, we’re able to to offer a lot more choices”, says Malik.
He continues, “We have halal, first of all, because that’s very important to a lot of customers..Then we have options for vegan people and vegetarians. One of my customers [told me], he can’t have any raw vegetables. We have raw vegetables but we also have steamed vegetables”. Malik is looking to expand the menu further by offering more cost efficient options. He has already kept in mind that students are looking for healthier alternatives and the upgraded menu offers smoothies as well.
Already distributing and encouraging the use of coupons, he is looking to develop more ways to cater to student budgets. “Two perspectives on retaining your customers: one is service and one is pricing,” he says. “We were looking at making daily specials…I’m in the process of getting printed posters to do promotions every two or three weeks where we have six dollar sandwiches so…we are able to stay in touch with our clients and their needs and their desires”.
Just below Treats is Rex’s Cafe, a new SCSU initiative. Open from 12-6 PM, the cafe offers students an assortment of pastries, coffee, espresso and hot chocolate. Front-of-House Manager Aysha Sidiq says the space was created for students to relax, come together, study and get drinks. Sidiq mentions that the cafe has board games as well, modelled after business like Snakes and Lattes. Though the hours of operations only occupy a particular time, certain drinks like hot chocolate, are available throughout the day.
With these new additions on campus, located in the prime location of the student centre, hopefully students will be able to fill the gap in their wallets and stomachs.