Businesses anticipate weekend profit boost

by Sam Rauschenfels | 5/19/11 10:00pm

While students embrace Green Key for its various parties and social activities, Hanover businesses look forward to the weekend with equal anticipation as their demand and revenue skyrocket, according to business managers interviewed by The Dartmouth.

"This seems to be the busiest one out of the big Dartmouth weekends," Ben Williams, general manager of Molly's Restaurant, said. "It feels like we see more alumni."

Williams expects an increase in sales between $8,000 and $10,000 over the weekend, based on sales from past Green Key weekends. Molly's will prepare for the additional customers with more staff, more food and "more margaritas," according to Williams.

Everything But Anchovies manager Mark Tuthill said the restaurant will follow a similar plan, adding additional drivers and employees to monitor the telephones.

"Generally, [the business increase] starts on Wednesday," Tuthill said. "Parties dictate our late night [business]."

EBAs experiences a roughly 30-percent increase in business over Green Key weekend, most of which comes from increased late night traffic, according to Tuthill. While EBAs sells $9,000 to $12,000 of food on a typical weekend, Green Key sales average $15,000 to $20,000 Tuthill said.

The busy weekend during which customers can place as many as 250 orders in the last hour of business provides a unique training experience for new employees.

Tuthill said he warns new employees, "You haven't worked here on Green Key weekend."

One problem especially apparent during Dartmouth's big weekends is the amount of food left undelivered at the end of the night anywhere from $400 to $600 on a typical big weekend, according to Tuthill. This occurs most often when customers order food delivered to a specific on-campus location and fail to receive the order at the specified place, or when customers do not answer their phones when EBAs delivery drivers attempt to notify them of their food's arrival, Tuthill said. This problem "causes a backup" with other orders, he said.

Tuthill said he expected this year's Green Key to follow recent trends and provide the largest increase of the three big weekends, with many alumni choosing to dine at EBAs' physical location. Tuthill said that customers may need to exercise patience with delivery wait times.

"Please don't order from somewhere you're not going to be," Tuthill advised.

Green Key's influence reaches the hotel business as well, according to Six South Street Hotel's general manager Donald Bruce.

"We only have 15 rooms left to sell [for Green Key weekend]," he said. "I can only attribute that to Green Key."

Bruce said that because this will be the hotel's first Green Key, he has no previous experience with which to gauge how busy the hotel will be, but that comparable weekends such as First-Year Family weekend sold out well in advance.

"Green Key has not necessarily reached the level of [that weekend], but we might sell out yet," he said.

Bruce said that staff members will use their first Green Key as a learning experience.

"I'd like to think that next year we'll be sold out for Green Key," he said.

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