Dough for Dough

The Commons Cafe switches up their way of pricing.


Photo: Loobna Shego

Commons Cafe faculty takes student lunch numbers.

Each day, students at University Prep purchase food from the Commons Cafe. Sophomore Naz Kuti has been at UPrep for 2 years, but often does not know the exact price of the items she is purchasing. 

“Most of the time I just get something and I’ve either gotten it before and know how much it costs or I just get it and find out later,” Kuti said. “I don’t know going into it how much it’s going to cost.”

When students returned to campus from the previous hybrid schedule, the Commons Cafe switched up their way of charging students.

In previous years, students would weigh their food and pricing was set to 50 cents per ounce. Currently, each bowl has a set price: $7 for the small bowls and $11 for the big bowls.

“We decided this year, especially with the pandemic and in trying to get everybody used to going through the lines fast so you could go outside, that we would do the two bowl prices,” Commons Cafe Owner Felicia Lindholm said.

In addition, the commons also sells snacks such as chips, cookies and occasionally candy.

“I think some things are overpriced such as the small snacks,” Junior Grey Oor said. “But then when I think about it, I think they should cost more so kids don’t end up getting them.” 

According to Lindholm, they try their best to keep prices fair. If one student gets a small portion of food in a large bowl, Cafe staff will not charge the student the large bowl price.

At the Cafe, Lindholm always makes sure to buy fresh and high quality ingredients for the meals.

“Other than soups and marinara, we pretty much make everything. The mac and cheese is all made from scratch” Lindholm said.

According to Lindholm, some of the high prices are due to the higher quality.

We try really hard to keep prices low, [including] the cost of the quality of the ingredients we feed you. If we won’t eat it, you’re not going to get it.”

— Commons Cafe Owner Felicia Lindholm

“The chickens’ all fresh, we try not to buy frozen. When you have burgers and stuff it’s all angus beef, it’s from Chicago,” Lindholm said.

Lindholm balances these market prices, to-go containers, labor costs and other business expenses while still aiming to make lunch affordable. 

“We try really hard to keep prices low, [including] the cost of the quality of the ingredients we feed you,” Lindholm said. “If we won’t eat it, you’re not going to get it.”

Lindholm is always looking to improve, so she has opened a suggestion box, located near the pasta bar, and encourages students to drop their ideas and recommendations for the Commons Cafe.