Why Was The Bridge Café Closed?

Reported by Danielle Brown

Due to understaffing, the Bridge Café closed for two weeks last month. They have recently opened back up with modified hours and hope to return to normal hours in the upcoming weeks.

“It was a perfect storm,” said Denny Lawrence, general manager of Café Bon Appetit. With the retirement of the Bruin Bites supervisor and the planned vacation of another staff member, several unforeseen events incapacitated other staff members including medical leave, jury duty, and illnesses. Lawrence knew that they would have to close one of the three cafes on campus.

“I just did not have enough staff to keep all three [cafes] open,” Lawrence said.

One of the accidents leading to the closure of the Bridge Café was the injury of a cook in the Bruin Den who fell and hit his head. He is still currently on medical leave.

Café Bon Appetit was forced to close for the afternoon because of the nature of the injury but compensated students who were waiting for food orders with a free pass to the Canyon Commons dining hall.

After deliberating, Lawrence decided that because both the Bruin Den and Bruin Bites bring in a greater amount of revenue and student traffic, the closure of the Bridge Café would have the least impact on students. To compensate for the inconvenience it caused students, free cookies and coffee were offered throughout the two weeks of closure.

“We sincerely apologize,” Lawrence said. “We didn’t want to close for that two-week period or reduce the hours, but we physically didn’t have the staff to fill those vacancies.”

As of now, Bon Appetit is still regaining staff members, bringing in temporary hires and shifting staff around to fill in the gaps and keep all the cafes open.