Keep Ike's in Huang: We love our Dutch Crunch!

Our Ike's has been threatened. Do you love your Menage-a-trois, Maples Pavillion, and/or [Your Favorite Sesame Street Character]?Do you love carmel lollipops? Do love La'Marcus? SIGN SIGN SIGN.


For the betterment of the Stanford community, keep Ike's in the Huang Engineering Building. Going to Ike's has become an integral part of the Stanford experience- as important as, say, biking through the Circle of Death and smooching at Full Moon on the Quad. We as a student body support Ike's and we're here to show it. Together we speak, listen up, you SEQ folk.

Discussion

  • Priscilla Acuna Mena There is something wrong about RD&E making these kinds of decisions without consulting the student body.

  • Andrew Aude Dear Shirley Everett and Michael Gratz,

    We are disappointed that R&DE sought to compete for Huang Engineering Center. By and large, Stanford students prefer Ike's to R&DE’s restaurants. I can’t even compare Ike’s to your replacement offering, because you haven’t even declared what kinds of food it will serve. Although some students griped about Ike’s price increase, more students gripe that R&DE’s prices are even higher. Do you really think students want more restaurants that are only open from 11AM-2PM, five days per week? R&DE’s high prices, skimpy product offerings, and minimal operating hours are why R&DE should not be opening any more restaurants on campus.

    Furthermore, it is appalling that you are able to operate your restaurants tax-free under Stanford's 501(c)(3). As you know, R&DE restaurants technically fail the IRS’s three-part test for Unrelated Business Income. R&DE restaurants are 1) “A trade or business,” 2) “Regularly carried on,” and 3) “Not substantially related to furthering the exempt purpose of the organization.” (That organization is Stanford University.)

    Despite good intentions, R&DE Hospitalities & Auxiliaries doesn’t seem to be acting "in support of Stanford’s academic mission." Remember, R&DE’s existing restaurants would be paying a 20-30% Unrelated Business Income Tax if it weren't for the IRS’s broadly defined "Convenience of Members" exemption. (However, I would argue that R&DE’s restaurants are not convenient for students, faculty, or visitors.) R&DE restaurants unfairly outcompete private vendors that actually have to pay business taxes. Looking at your vast $180M annual budget, it will only grow now that you have eliminated one of your largest competitors.

    Enough is enough. Stop expanding your restaurant business. "Fundraising" via food sales is not appropriate, and we deserve better.

    Students want high-quality independent vendors, like Ike’s, on Stanford’s campus.
    We ask that you forfeit your newly awarded lease in Huang Engineering Center.

    Sincerely,
    Andrew Aude
    Senator Elect
    16th ASSU Undergraduate Senate

  • Michael Gratz Dear Andrew,

    As the Executive Director of Stanford Hospitality & Auxiliaries (SHA), I wanted to take the opportunity to follow up on your email and clarify some of your concerns. I am also hopeful that we can set up a direct meeting with you this week. My team and I are excited about this new opportunity to provide students, faculty and staff with a new menu concept and an additional place to use their cardinal dollars. While we responded to the RFP, Stanford Hospitality and Auxiliaries was not involved in any decision related to Ike’s contract. We were invited to respond to an RFP alongside approximately 12 other vendors.

    Lindsey Akin, the Committee Chair, made the following announcement to the community message board on Friday afternoon:

    “I am excited to announce that we have selected a new café partner for the Forbes Family Café space in the Huang Engineering Center. The awarded vendor, Residential & Dining Enterprises (R&DE), will begin operations on September 2, 2014 (the day after the Labor Day holiday). R&DE will offer a variety of menu options inspired by fresh and locally grown products. An added benefit of this new café partner is that you’ll be able to use Cardinal Dollars, which allow you to pre-load your Stanford ID and turn it into a fast payment method. The selection is the result of an RFP which was conducted by Stanford’s Procurement Department to select a café partner after Ike’s contract ended. Selection was based on several criteria, including the ability to meet the needs of Science and Engineering Quad (SEQ) users. Other deciding factors included sustainability and commitment to green practices, as well as reputation and staff pay, benefits and turnover.”

    SHA operates multiple retail concepts across campus and have forged numerous partnerships based on feedback from students, faculty and staff with a diverse portfolio of outside vendors from Ray Klein’s Pub at GCC, Starbucks, Panda Express, California Pizza Kitchen, Fraiche, Subway, Russo’s Pub and our latest Kikka Sushi concept to name a few. This value is further enhanced by a strong commitment to sustainability and being fiscally responsible. Revenues generated on campus by Stanford Hospitality and its partners directly support the room and board rates for students. Additional benefits to students include the discounted Cardinal Dollar cashless payment and students’ ability to save Sales Tax. Stanford University has 37 retail food vendors on campus, many with multiple locations, of which 22 are outside vendors that do not provide this type of value to students and take profits off campus.
    The operating schedule in many of the retail operations we manage start at 7 am, and the late night facility closes at 2 am on weekends. While a few facilities are closing after lunch due to student class schedules, many others remain open to accommodate students’ needs. Forbes Café hours of operation will be determined with input from our students, faculty and staff in our planning process.
    I also want to address your comment about pricing in our retail cafes, which are competitive with other campus vendors. Our goal is to provide high quality food products from local, organic and/or sustainably-raised and Fair Trade sources. Our workers are paid above a living wage and receive health, medical and other benefits. We believe that this is the right thing to do.
    I look forward to meeting with you to further help you learn of our services and how our partnerships across the campus have been recognized as an enhanced value to the Stanford community.
    Best regards

    Michael P. Gratz
    Executive Director
    Stanford Hospitality & Auxiliaries

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