Low sales, profits and student traffic have led to an uncertain future for Jazzman’s CafÂ.TCU Dining Services and the dining committee, a group of students and faculty members interested in the dining options on campus, have been meeting in recent weeks to discuss the possible options to increase business at Jazzman’s CafÂ, located in the basement of the Tucker Technology Center, or move it to a new location, said Rick Flores, general manager of Dining Services.
“The challenge that we gave to the dining committee was to try and find what true businesses on the outside actually look for, which is a traffic pattern of students and where that might be on the current campus,” Flores said. “There are some dynamics involved as to costs, locations and what the possibilities are.”
There are no plans to eliminate the unit, which won the 2004 Tyson Hot Concepts Award, Flores said. The Tyson Hot Concepts Award is presented to new restaurant companies with emerging growth concepts, according to the Nation’s Restaurant News Web site.
“We’re talking about moving it,” Flores said. “If we get to a situation where we have no place to put it, then we’ll end up having to mothball it.”
The lack of traffic has kept Jazzman’s sales down even though the products offered there have done well in other campus units, said Tina Gordon, the food service manager for Sodexho, the company that provides catering for TCU.
“Where we’re located at we just can’t pull the sales down to cover the costs,” Gordon said. “The Jazzman’s product is so labor-intensive, that if you don’t have the sales, it doesn’t cover the labor. We do sell it in The Main and it’s doing well there. There’s just not very much traffic going on in that building and that’s keeping our sales down.”
Jazzman’s CafÂ supervisor Sonia Hernandez said that monthly specials and discounts have not worked in increasing sales, but that they do have students who have become regulars.
“Everyone that goes in there is really happy with the product,” Hernandez said. “There’s just not enough students that go there.”
There have been numerous ideas for where to move Jazzman’s CafÂ on the current campus, but the dining committee is still just thinking aloud, Flores said.
“We’ve written down recommendations for Moudy,” Flores said. “We also wrote down possibilities at Pond St. (Grill) in Worth Hills and looked at the GrandMarc on Berry.”
Building extensions have been considered to accommodate the unit, Flores said.
“We had a real wild idea about the space out in the mall area on the exterior of (the Sid Richardson Building),” Flores said. “We thought about having an extension coming off the building and have an indoor-outdoor type of terrace cafÂ where students that are walking by can spend some time on the benches right around there or come in for a quick coffee.”
Students interested in the placement of Jazzman’s CafÂ may attend dining committee meetings at 4:30 p.m. every Monday.