If you’ve ever bought takeout from Bomber, you may have noticed the 99-cent “takeout charge” on your bill.
Feds instituted the charge at Bomber five years ago when an exec on a sustainability kick [Sarah Cook] introduced eco-friendly takeout containers, the cost of which were significantly higher than the traditional Styrofoam.
Fast-forward to a year-and-a-half ago when Bomber axed the sustainable containers, and switched back to Styrofoam. Despite getting rid of the sustainable containers, the takeout charge remained until recently. After being questioned by Imprint, the charge was cancelled effective immediately.
Current Feds vice-president of operations and finance (VPOF) Ben Balfour said the charge stuck because Bomber was still losing money on the Styrofoam containers, despite them being cheaper.
“Right now it is still covering the cost of the takeout containers,” Balfour said, adding that Bomber uses a lot of containers — approximately one case of 500 per week. He also said that prior to introducing the sustainable containers, the cost of the Styrofoam was absorbed in the menu, which is no longer the case.
Imprint was denied an interview with Bomber management to discuss the situation.
The details of how many takeout orders the Bomber has per week on average was not made available, neither was the cost of the sustainable or Styrofoam containers. The Bomber’s operating cost and revenue documents are for Feds internal use only.
Balfour said that before deciding to cancel the charge, he inherited a project from last year’s VPOF, Natasha Pozega, to revamp the Bomber menu. Balfour said discussion of cancelling the charge has arisen during those conversations.
“I know a lot of it will involve sort of like how the menu looks, aesthetically, as well as taking the feedback we’ve been getting in the comment cards and from students and trying to incorporate that into the menu,” Balfour said.