By Taylor Baker
Vending machine prices have increased by as much as 33 percent since last semester according to a recent Ammerman campus survey.
“There’s an increase in price, because there’s an increase in goods,” said Nick Skelos, manager of Dover Hospitality Services, Inc.
A license agreement between Dover Hospitality Services and the college indicates that Dover is responsible for the cafeterias on the Ammerman and the Grant campus. Along with the cafeterias Dover also services the vending machines in buildings across the campuses.
Skelos further explained the vending machine increase in an interview on Oct. 24.
“Our costs have increased dramatically in the last couple of years due to the fact that there’s an increase in goods. Trucking is more expensive. Gas prices are hot. It starts with the gas prices. Gas prices are high, and it goes from there,” Skelos said.
Vending machines are available in most Ammerman Campus buildings. The only building without vending machines is the Huntington Library. The Riverhead building and the Babylon Student Center, both have two vending locations.
Last semester the NFL College Administration building located by the east entrance of the campus was cited for having a reduced cost for vending items. Items in the machines were as much as 50 cents cheaper. This semester the price of items of the vending machines are up 50 cents more that last semester. From $1.50 to $2.00 in drinks, making it a 33 percent difference in costs.
Dover pays $270,000 in capital improvements, with annual payments of $25,000 to the College. On top of this money, the College takes commissions between 11 percent and 12.5 percent from the gross of sales of food services. They take 28 percent on vending machines sales from all the vending machines. The College and Dover determine snack and drink prices for the machines. The College has to approve the price increase by Dover.
While Skelos claimed that he did not know the percentage of profit that Dover earns for vending services, the College’s contract with Dover is clear about the profits.
Dover’s been affiliated with The College for five years. The College is licensed to continue working with Dover Food Services for another six years; as of July 1, 2010 the contract has been extended to another five years, expiring on June 30, 2015. The College receives proceeds from Dover’s sales due to commissions.
Throughout the course of each day, two maintenance workers service the vending machines five days a week. The buildings with vending areas have two machines, one for drinks and one for snacks. Dover does offer refunds, with the number on the machine. The number to call is (516) 933-4444 extension 13.
The drinks available are Coke A Cola, Dasani water, Nestea Cool Lemon Iced Tea, Diet Coke, and Sprite, which all increased 50 cents from the previous semester. The snacks such as chips and candy range from $1.00 to a $1.50. As for the gaming room, the machine carries cans of soda at a cheaper price making it $1.25. The water and some snacks such as chips and pop tarts have a difference in price from the cafeteria and the vending machines. In the cafeteria, the water is cheaper than the water in the vending machines. Pop tarts are the opposite; they’re $1.50 in the cafeteria and $1.25 in the vending machines.
When asked why the water prices were different, Skelos said, “All the machines have to be fixed; all the drinks are one price in the machines, so water and soda they all have to be fixed that way, where as in here [the cafeteria] we can actually distinguish between one drink and another. You’re never going to go to a vending machine and see two, three different prices.”
If the snacks are two different prices, in the machines, then why isn’t the water and soda that way as well?
“Snacks cost different prices, and the machines are different, two separate machines” [from the drinks and snacks], Skelos said.
“Vending machines have to be programmed separately. It’s, its own separate department, that’s why there’s a difference in price of water from the vending machines and the cafeteria,” Andre Greenfield a third year manager said.
In a random survey on the Ammerman campus students reported spending around $10 each week and some said as much as $5 a day on vending items.
“I don’t like the idea the price of the vending machines went up in price. We pay enough to go here, at least make the snacks and drinks cheap,” said Mike Ellison an Ammerman campus sophomore. He mentioned, now that he knows the price went up; he won’t come back as much.