Food available at cafes and restaurants on campus is cheaper towards the end of the day. A Critic reporter was pleasantly surprised to discover that their sandwich cost $2.50 rather than $5.00.
Saint David’s cafe, Albany Cafe and other university-owned cafes all offer different deals to students at the end of the day. But the time at which you can get those deals depends on the context.
“Essentially there is no set time or day for outlets to discount their food and food is only discounted as a last and limited opportunity for sales,” said the University Union’s operations manager, Martin Jones. The University Union covers cafes such as Saint David’s cafe and Albany Cafe.
“Food discounted at our outlets is done on a case by case basis at each individual outlet and is dependent on many factors including the day of the week, the weather, customer numbers and also food quality and sustainability.”
According to Critic’s estimate, the campus cafes often discount their remaining food at around 4pm. Most of the time, the discount applies to food that they can't keep for the next day, such as sushi, rice balls, and sandwiches.
The Otago Museum cafe, just a two minute walk from campus, doesn’t provide the same discounts. When speaking to the manager, Critic was told that they “don’t offer any special discounts towards the end of the day” as there is “no need to”.
Around campus there were many people who didn’t realise that the cafes offered discounts to students. “I would use it because I’m a student and I’m poor, but because it’s out of my way I can just go back to my hall and get dinner anyway. However next year, I would totally use it more often,” said one student.
“At the end of the day it is nice to know that there is an option to get something small to eat on the way home for a reasonable price,” said another student. He also stated that “it is a good idea for them to offer us cheaper foods - especially if they are going to throw it out”.