The glorious signage of Oakham Café.

Photo: Jake Scott

Streamlined service at Oakham means less takeout for you

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By Alex Heck

A few things are different at the Oakham Café this school year.

Over the summer, Oakham overhauled its layout and its menu. The walls have been repapered, the café procedures have changed. The level of merchandise available at the café has been reduced, as has the selection available in the takeout menu.

All the changes are leaving some students wondering if the campus café is as convenient as it used to be.

The Oakham Café flooded at the end of June this year after a faucet on the men’s bathroom on the third floor of Oakham House fell off. This caused over $44,000 worth of damage to the Café, the ombudsperson office and the men’s bathroom in the campus bar, the Ram in the Rye.

The total cost of the renovations to the café are still unknown because the ombudsperson office and some faulty wiring still need to be fixed, said Michael Verticchio, general manager of the Ryerson Student Centre.

Some products have become more costly, Verticchio said, and some items, like chicken wings, have dropped in price.

He added that snack items like candy, chips and nuts were taken away because they weren’t profitable and the shelves hindered Oakham’s accessibility.

Alessa Metzler, a second-year interior design student, said she misses the selection of snack food that used to be available at the café. She said she enjoyed the convenience of grabbing an energy bar before class.

“It’s sad that they don’t offer that anymore.”

Last year, students could order a full meal from the café to go, but now can only order from a select few items like quiche, soup, salad and pre-made sandwiches.

This change was prompted by a constant flood of takeout orders, which overwhelmed the kitchen that is shared by both the café and the campus watering hole.

“Reducing the takeout menu is a key reform to ensure wait times and service levels are improved,” Verticchio said.

As a result, items like burgers and meals with rice are no longer available at Oakham. The Ram in the Rye continues to offer full takeout meals.

The takeout changes have inconvenienced Najam-Ul Saqib, a second-year engineering student who works at the Member Services Office across from Oakham.

“What we normally did here was order takeout and come eat at our desk,” he said adding that he doesn’t do takeout at all anymore.

An earlier version of this story stated that Oakham Café no longer serves fries. This is incorrect — Oakam does in fact still serve fries. The Eyeopener regrets this error and we are going to go get some fries. 

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