Business school pursues Starbucks in new complex

| News Reporter

Kaldi’s Coffee may soon be facing more competition on campus as the Olin Business School considers hosting a Starbucks in the under-construction Bauer Hall.

Contract negotiations with Starbucks have not been finalized, according to Brian Bannister, associate dean for finance and administration in the business school.

The search for a food vendor to serve Bauer and Knight Halls, which is expected to be completed March 1, has not included Washington University’s Dining Services.

According to Dining Services Manager Paul Schimmele, Dining Services could handle the additional location operationally. However, Dining Services has not been engaged about operating in the upcoming location.

“I’m not entirely sure what they’re doing really. I haven’t heard what [the business school] finally decided to do,” Schimmele said.

Tim Patrick, food service director for Einstein Bros. Bagels, does not believe the additional external competition in the business school will affect Einstein’s sales substantially.

“I think we have a strong captive audience in the business school. I think maybe coffee sales could go down a little bit, but food sales will probably stay the same,” Patrick said.

Some students are critical of the plan to have Starbucks and believe it doesn’t match up to the offerings of other external vendors.

“I really think Starbucks doesn’t offer enough real food like Einstein’s,” sophomore Cameron Barnes said.

Sophomore Sang-Ho Lee said he was hoping for a more food-based option for the spot.

“I was hearing there was going to be a Chipotle. I was hoping to see that,” he said.

Sophomore Ben Perlman was also disappointed that the Chipotle rumors were untrue.

“People had been talking about how it might have been a Chipotle, so that would’ve been good,” he said. “But I am excited for a new and different place on campus to study and hang out with my friends.”

Bannister confirmed that Chipotle has not been considered at any point for the new business school buildings.

Another part of the expected March plan is to move all graduate courses for the spring mini-semester, in addition to some undergraduate courses, into these new buildings, according to Bannister.

“We would like to shift some undergraduate classes to the new facilities on March 17 as well, particularly so that our seniors will experience coursework in the new facility before graduation,” Bannister said.

According to Bannister, most faculty members with offices in Knight and Bauer Halls are also expected to relocate during spring break, but if the timetable proves disruptive to teaching and research, faculty can choose to move later.

With additional reporting by Divya Kumar.

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