The Wave and Mickey’s Place, the two businesses operated by the UPEISU, combined to lose over $21,000 in September, according to a business report presented by Vice-President Finance Will McGuigan at the UPEISU Council’s October 14th meeting.
The Wave lost $18,021.85 in September, a 71% increase from the same period last year. This figure does not include the cost of developing the new menu or the new tableware and cutlery procured over the summer, which cost the SU a combined $13,017.74.
Mickey’s Place lost $3,388 in the same month, a 33% increase from last year. This figure does not include the cost of a new coffee brewer purchased over the summer.
Wages and Food Costs Both Factors at The Wave
Speaking to The Cadre, McGuigan cited wages and food costs as the two leading causes of the increased loss.
Wages increased from $10,570 to $15,535, a 47% increase from 2016. McGuigan pointed to a number of factors that influenced the increase.
“We were short-staffed last year in the kitchen last year, said McGuigan. “This year, we are no longer short staffed.” Furthermore, he highlighted that few employees had returned this year, which “took up significantly more time for training”. McGuigan also pointed out that the new menu requires more extensive prep time than the previous menu, adding to costs.
While food revenue increased by $4,742, food costs increased by $7,604. McGuigan explained that the new menu had required The Wave to order new food products that were not previously carried.
Mickey’s Place Also Grappled with Changes
Although Mickey’s Place recorded a $490 increase in gross revenue, its net loss grew by $843 to $3,388 in 2017 from $2,545 in 2016. Like The Wave, Mickey’s Place also had to adjust to new changes.
Over the summer, the SU transitioned from Starbucks-branded coffee to Receiver Coffee, a local coffee company. Despite the Receiver brand costing seven cents more per coffee, the SU saved $1,022 on coffee purchases over the previous year; McGuigan said that Receiver provides coffee as needed, a change from last year when coffee was ordered in fewer, larger shipments.
The switch did introduce new costs, however. At the Council meeting, McGuigan said that the SU could no longer use Starbucks-branded materials, which required the purchase of new cups and other supplies. The SU also purchased a new coffee grinder to brew Receiver’s coffee for $1,214.
SU Optimistic about Future Performance
Despite the losses, McGuigan is optimistic about the businesses’ performance in the coming months.
Speaking about The Wave, McGuigan anticipates that costs will decrease going forward. “Our labour percentages were higher in the month of September because we… needed more staff on to help train the new staff during the shift,” he said. “Now that we’re a month in, those hours are going to go down.”
Speaking about Mickey’s Place, McGuigan stressed the $490 increase in revenue. “When you’re considering items that range from $1 to $2, to $3, I think that’s a significant increase in revenue,” he said.
McGuigan speculated that both businesses will outperform past years, predicting that “they’re going to do significantly better over previous years.”
The full reports for The Wave and Mickey’s Place are available here.
By: Nathan Hood
Photo: Lorelei Kenny