Increased cost of sushi rankles Princeton students
Jeannette Yu ’15 hovered over the selection of sushi trays in the Food Gallery at Frist Campus Center, unsure of what to do. She was looking at a set of prices and options different from those to which she had become accustomed.“I don’t like this,” she said. “This is not OK.”
At the start of this semester, students encountered a sharp $2 increase in the price of several popular sushi selections at Frist. Near the beginning of the term, 15 of the 20 sushi options available were priced above the credit designated for both late meal and late dinner, requiring students to pay the overcharge out-of-pocket.
While the sushi meals sold in the Food Gallery are priced by Dining Services, the products themselves are produced by a third-party vendor, Advanced Fresh Concepts Franchise Corp. Executive Director of Dining Services Stu Orefice declined to be interviewed, deferring comment to University Spokesperson Martin Mbugua.
Mbugua said the increase in prices correlates with the increase in cost from the vendors. He noted that this is the first time the University has altered its sushi prices in three years.“We use a market-based approach,” Mbugua said. “Prices are primarily based on customer feedback, general trend and market prices.”
AFC declined to comment regarding the increase in its market prices.Last week, however, Dining Services readjusted sushi prices in the Food Gallery again, this time in response to student feedback, Mbugua said. As of Friday afternoon, only eight of the 20 sushi options were priced over the late-meal limit. Dining Services reduced the higher costs of sushi by downsizing the packages: Sushi products that once contained a dozen pieces now contain only nine.
This readjustment was aimed at providing students with both “a nutritious meal” and “pricing flexibility,” according to Mbugua.
“Feedback from students indicate popularity and preferences, and all of those pieces of information are put together in making the determination of what is offered and at what price,” Mbugua explained. “The goal is to provide a wide selection for the students. Their feedback is always taken into consideration.”
Nonetheless, some students continue to disapprove of Dining Services’ pricing, particularly with regard to the smaller sushi trays.
“I’m just as hungry,” Tyler Hastie ’15 said. “Plus, it tastes better [at the U-Store].”
Some students said they feel that sushi prices should be further reduced to allow for a more balanced meal. Dave Gupta ’16 noted that if he wanted to purchase a Silk Soy Milk with his sushi order, he would no longer be able to pay for both products with just a meal swipe.
Tom Colocci ’16 described the initial price increase as a “heinous attack on democracy” but is satisfied with recent changes.
“I’m fine as long as they continue to keep the price reduced,” he said.