Collis Cafe loses workers, cuts hours

by Maggie Fritz | 5/16/94 5:00am

Because of the loss of six employees and amidst complaints of inefficient management and unreasonable work loads, Collis Cafe has been forced to cut back on the hours it will serve entrees and soups.

Two full-time employees have quit since April and four student employees have left in the past few weeks.

"We've unfortunately had a few people quit in key positions," Manager of Collis Cafe Cynthia Crutchfield said.

The cafe now serves entrees and soups between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., a reduction Crutchfield said was necessary "to maintain a suitable level of service in the cafe."

Crutchfield said the Cafe used to serve soups and entrees during all hours unless the dishes ran out.

One full-time staff member quit for personal reasons and the other to pursue a career opportunity, Crutchfield said. Another is expected to leave within the next two weeks.

Crutchfield said the cafe is also having trouble keeping students on staff. She said four students have left "within the past few weeks."

One '97 who asked to remain anonymous recently quit her job at the cafe, alleged the operation was not efficiently managed and that there was not enough communication between the management and the staff.

"Sometimes there were way too many [staff members] there so that you could hardly move, and at other times there was no one there," the '97 said.

The former worker also said employees were not properly informed of their duties.

The managers "would throw people out there and they wouldn't know what they were doing," the '97 said. "They would get angry at you but you didn't know what you were supposed to be doing."

Another staff member cited inefficient management as the cause of the cafe's staff problems.

"I think there are a lot of personality clashes [between the management and the staff]," the worker said. "I also think they overwork a lot of people."

One full-time worker said an increased workload was the result of the decrease in staff. The worker said where once five workers closed up at night, the work was now being done by two.

Crutchfield acknowledged there are inefficiencies but attributed them to problems stemming from the cafe's recent reopening.

"We have many, many systems to work out," she said.

She added that though she would eventually like to implement training and orientation sessions for new workers "it is virtually impossible at this time."

"We expect people to speak up when they don't understand something," Crutchfield said.

The cafe employs around 65 students and 10 non-students, supervisor Ray Maurice said. He said the cafe was rearranging employee schedules to compensate for the staff losses.

"We understand students are here for academic reasons first, but we need them to be committed to their positions here," Crutchfield said. She added that it is not unusual for staff numbers to drop at this time of year.

"We anticipate every Spring there will be fall-out and there is," Crutchfield said.

Maurice said the cafe has also had to fire some students, but that he did not know how many.

"Some [students] just didn't meet our standards, some didn't come in on time, some just didn't come in," Maurice said.

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