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Buzz cafe managers to plan low-cost menu with College students

Buzz Off: Student Council Vice President Stephen Lightbourne ( left) and President Antonio Belvedere sit outside Buzz cafe on the Bermuda College campus. They started a protest over the prices being charge.

Bermuda College students will work with Buzz cafe managers to plan a low-cost menu tailored to their needs.Managers admitted they were “insensitive” towards students when they implemented a price hike that provoked a four-day boycott of the Buzz campus cafe last week.Students complained they could not afford to pay $12 to $15 for a panini and soda, and refused to eat at Buzz from Monday through to Thursday lunch time.Managers met with student government representatives on Thursday and worked out a plan, including a student discount, that resulted in the boycott being called off.Managers declined to comment on the dispute last week. However, Buzz director Jon Brunson admitted yesterday that the recent price hike across the Island’s ten Buzz eateries had “obviously affected the Bermuda College”.He said of Thursday’s meeting: “We really listened to them. Going through the whole [price increase] process we were somewhat insensitive to their issues, because we really weren’t thinking about it at that level. When we met with them, we listened to the students and took a step back.”Mr Brunson said Buzz extended a ten percent discount to college students as an “act of good faith”.The discount, which only applies to college students at the college branch of Buzz, will continue until the end of the school year in July 2012.From November 1, a five percent discount will be offered to all students across the rest of the Island’s nine Buzz cafes through to July 2012.Mr Brunson said it applies to elementary school, middle school and senior secondary school students in uniform, plus college students with valid ID.It only applies to menu items, and not to items such as soda and chips. Meanwhile, a new affordable menu is being created for the Bermuda College branch.“We recognise we all have skin in the game and this is what we are doing to help our clients and the public,” said Mr Brunson.“In addition to that, we felt it was really important to teach the students something about the restaurant business.“We invited them to participate in a ‘healthy choice’ menu for the college, and the culinary arts students will work with Buzz to formulate that for the college.”Buzz managing director Holger Eiselt said: “They will be involved in creating the menu so they get exactly what they want, and they will also be involved in pricing the items so they get a hands-on experience of what it takes to be profitable.”