Submission: A case for Bon Appetit
If the on-campus dining options make you feel like the world is an unfair place, then I would like a moment to present another perspective. You may perhaps feel it’s unfair that your dining experience is limited to certain hours. Or maybe you’re tired of seeing the same menu items come up week after week.
That’s fair enough, and I can see your frustration, but when you demand the ousting of Bon Appétit from the campus of UP, are you aware of the lives you might be affecting for the sake of your gustatory pleasure? The campaign to get rid of Bon Appétit means taking jobs away from many hardworking individuals trying to make ends meet.
There is a bigger contextual picture that is not being recognized in this conversation — that a privileged group of individuals are putting the working lives of others in danger for no reason other than they feel entitled to something better.
We all know that waking up for an 8:10 is hard, but some of the chefs at the Pilot House have to wake up at four in the morning so that breakfast is ready for you by 7:30. They do this every day. One cook knows every single player on UP’s soccer teams and can be seen at the Pilot House every morning asking students, “How are you, honey?” as they wait in line for a sunrise bowl.
Another cook used to live in Mexico before working at the Pilot House as a cook. One day as she was wrapping breakfast burritos, she told me she wanted to go to school to become a nurse someday. As a single mother, she doesn’t know when she will have the time or money to go to nursing school. She wants to pay for her kid’s college first.
Another cook has been at the Pilot House for about two years now. She’s from Vietnam originally and once asked me to help her write a “thank you” card because her English was not yet to a point where she could articulate how appreciative she was towards a Bon Appétit manager.
These are just a few narratives from the Pilot House staff. We need to remember that these are people, not just food service providers. These are the people’s livelihoods that are being put into jeopardy when a group of affluent students complain that Bon App should be removed from campus.
I would ask the people who are making the case against Bon App to please consider the position of privilege they are coming from and the possible financial hardships their petition might bring on a group of hardworking and kind individuals if the University were to take their suggestion seriously.