It was clear Wisconsin Union officials were worried about financial losses when they decided to bring a Union-licensed Peet’s coffee shop into the Memorial Union, as I reported in the Feb. 8 the issue (“Tempest in a coffee cup”). Wisconsin Union Associate Director Hank Walter said a more influential factor, however, was the desire to meet a student need.
The Union administration put an exact number on its anticipated deficit in Wednesday’s “Union proposes budget increase,” blaming the $131,200 revenue deficit expected for 2008-9 primarily on the closing of Union South.
This latest development reiterates the importance of the new coffee shop’s profit-making potential. “We do believe a coffee shop will be successful financially, and we need it to be,” Walter told me at the time. He said the Union receives only 30 percent of its funding from student fees; much of the rest comes from food service.