RCafe, Cafe Royale, and Bar Survey Results 2015/2016

SU Facilities Survey Results 2015/2016

On December 31, the SU issued a survey asking for feedback about its facilities – the RCafe, Café Royale, and ArtBar. The Survey gathered 225 responses – that is about 15% of the student population.

As we have promised, we will respond formally to this feedback. After presenting and discussing this feedback with the relevant managers of each facility, we would like to also share with you our findings.


RCafe Survey // Responses by Paul Tolkaciovas, Kensington Operations Manager


Results for RCafe Outreach

We found that 93-94% of survey respondents regularly visit the RCafe, with about 55% visiting more than 3 times a week.

SU Response: We are happy that students seem to visiting the café frequently, and we foresee this number increasing due to the rise in student numbers.


Results for RCafe Opening Times

83% of survey respondents found the RCafe opening times to suit their needs. 16% found that it didn’t. The top reasons given for this were:

1)   57% of those who didn’t expressed the need for a dinner service, specifically one which ran later than the canteen opening hours of 5:30-7 PM.
2)   14% expressed the need for a weekend opening service.

SU Response: The RCAfe opening hours  are 8.30am till 7.30pm. There is currently a street food dinner service that was put in place shortly after the survey was sent out. Extended opening hours till 9:30pm will be trialled in the summer term.


Results for RCafe Staff Service & Cleanliness

83.25% of survey respondents found that staff service & cleanliness was good-excellent. 16.25% found it below adequate-wholly unacceptable. The top reasons given for the negative responses were:

1) Staff are too slow
2) The Café is frequently understaffed
3) There needs to be more attention to and training for health and safety, as there have been a few incidents

SU Response:  The staff who work in the RCAfe are full time students, some have no previous experience in the catering sector. The understaffing issue is an ongoing battle due to always changing school calendars and staff main responsibilities at the RCA. We make sure that all staff at the RCafe are trained and practice the H&S and Food Hygiene rules for the kitchen.


Results for the Quality and Choice of RCafe Sandwiches

74.47% of survey respondents found that sandwiches at the SU Café were good-excellent. 25.53% found it below adequate-wholly unacceptable. The top reasons given for the negative responses were:

1)   That sandwiches are too expensive
2)   The lack of good vegetarian/dietary options
3)   The lack of healthy options
4)   The lack of variety & quality in general

 SU Response:  The sandwiches are made freshly on the day from a selection of good ingredients. As such, the price can not be lower without compromising the quality. We are trying to make sure the variety of sandwiches is always changing to keep up with demand.


Results for the Quality and Choice of RCafe Hot Food

73.04% of survey respondents found that hot food at the SU RCafé were good-excellent. 26.94% found it below adequate-wholly unacceptable. The top reasons given for the negative responses were:

1)   The lack of good vegetarian/dietary options
2)   That it is sold out too often
3)   The need for healthier cooking
4)   Adjustments needed to portions, variety, and quality in general

 SU Response: The RCAfe kitchen is run by one chef responsible for the daily menu and many other duties to keep the running costs down. The food is very often sold out due to good quality ingredients cooked well and sold for very reasonable price. The menu is constantly changing, but we will try to put more vegetarian and vegan options, as well as salads, on the menu.


Results for the Quality and Choice of RCafe Coffee & Beverages

91.11% of survey respondents found that coffee & beverages at the SU RCafé were good-excellent. 8.9% found it below adequate-wholly unacceptable. The top reasons given for the negative responses were:

1)   Feeling that the canteen downstairs offered bigger & better coffee
2)   The need for larger cups
3)   The need for juices & other healthy alternative options
4)   Requests for better coffee training for staff, alternative coffee & tea options

 SU Response : The coffee downstairs is bigger not better. We currently have added a larger size of cup, so we have 9 oz and 12 oz options. The coffee beans in RCAfe comes from one of London’s top roasteries Monmouth. The size is set to 9oz for best espresso to milk ratio on the advice by Monmouth. RCAfe stocks premium range of teas by Teapigs company that uses only biodegradable bags and packaging and run many ethical schemes. We are planning to add more healthy beverage options after the Easter holiday, with less carbonated and surgary drinks. 


Results for the Prices of RCafe Food & Drink

71.58% of survey respondents found that RCafé prices were good-excellent. 28.42% found it below adequate-wholly unacceptable. The top reasons given for the negative responses were:

1)   All products needed price reductions
2)   Only the hot food was reasonably priced
3)   Sandwiches, specifically, were way too expensive

SU Response: The prices are set by the SU Board of Trustees to reflect the cost in food production and purchase of quality ingredients. Prices have also increased due to our policy of paying staff London Living Wage.


Results for the Ambience & Decor

87.18% of survey respondents found that the ambience/décor of the RCafé was good-excellent. 12.82% found it below adequate-wholly unacceptable. The top reasons given for the negative responses were:

1)   The music is too loud
2)   The lighting should be dimmed in the evenings
3)   The space should be more cosy

 SU Response: Music is adjusted according to the needs to reflect the noise levels at the time. The lights are dimmed in the evening. The controls to light dimmers are in the public space and can be adjusted at anytime. The space was designed to be used for different purposes on a very low budget and the results are good.  


Results for the Seating Area & Capacity

87.18% of survey respondents found that the seating area at the SU RCafé was good-excellent. 12.82% found it below adequate-wholly unacceptable. The top reasons given for the negative responses were:

1)   Way too crowded at lunch
2)   The furniture is uncomfortable
3)   Needs more microwaves

 SU Response: The RCAfe is popular and has limited space. However, the college has not allowed us to expand our facilities alongside the increase in student numbers. The space was designed to be used for different purposes on a very low budget and the results are good. There is currently not enough budget for the cafe to purchase more microwaves.


What products or services would you like to see at the RCafe?

76 people responded to this question. The top 5 results were:

1)   Would like to see more/better vegetarian options
2)   Would like to see more hot food variety in general
3)   Would like to see salad options
4)   Would like to see gluten free/dietary alternative options
5)   Would like to see healthier food and snacks available

SU Response – Our variety of sandwiches, food and snacks  is always changing to keep up with demand. We will try to add these suggestions to our range of options – including healthier snacks and sandwiches, over the Easter holiday.

 

 


Cafe Royale Survey // Responses by Chris Ilankovan, Battersea Cafe Manager


 Results for Café Royale Outreach

We found that 60.23%  of 176 survey respondents regularly visit the RCafe, with about 38.62% visiting 0-2 times a week.

SU Response: We are happy that students seem to visiting the café frequently, and we foresee this number increasing due to the rise in student numbers on the Battersea campus.


Results for Café Royale Opening Times

77% of survey respondents who said they frequented the Café Royale found the opening times to suit their needs. 22% found that it didn’t. The top reasons given for this were:

1)   Would like to have longer opening hours.

2)   Would like to have weekend opening hours.

SU Response I am happy for the cafe to be open slightly later and possibly at weekends.  However I currently open to the hours I am paid for.  But I can certainly organise more staff training and therefore open up more shifts for people.


Results for Café Royale Staff Service & Cleanliness

98.09% of survey respondents found that staff service & cleanliness was good-excellent. 2% found it below adequate-wholly unacceptable. The top reasons given for the negative responses were:

1) Staff are too slow

 SU Response: Staff have learned to work fast in time, especially recently.  We usually have 3 staff working in peak times (Between 10 and 2) I would feel adding more would produce a tough work environment/not great for health and safety.


Results for the Quality and Choice of Café Royale Sandwiches

88.46% of survey respondents found that sandwiches at the SU Café were good-excellent. 11.54% found it below adequate-wholly unacceptable. The top reasons given for the negative responses were:

1)   Needs to improve quality.

2)   Needs to improve quantity.

 SU Response: I think the quality of sandwiches is more than fine.  Quantity wise I understand sometimes people want something else.  We do toasties to order after 2pm when its less busy. Easier/cheaper option.


Results for the Quality and Choice of Café Royale Hot Food

93.18% of survey respondents found that hot food at the SU RCafé were good-excellent. 6.82% found it below adequate-wholly unacceptable. While the comments were mostly very favourable regarding the quality, the top reasons given for the negative responses were:

1)   Not enough quantity to meet demand

 SU Response: I have 2 hot plates and small oven which is a third of an average domestic kitchen, on which I have just over 2 hours to prepare food in the mornings.  And I feed 40- 50 hot boxes a day. I am currently at full capacity with regards to quantities without jeopardising standardsThe College has also not offered any more space for the SU to expand its facilities.


Results for the Quality and Choice of Café Royale Coffee & Beverages

95.88% of survey respondents found that coffee & beverages at the SU RCafé were good-excellent. 8.9% found it below adequate-wholly unacceptable. The top reasons given for the negative responses were:

1)   The quality of the coffee varies greatly between different staff members

SU Response – I keep an eye on training and try and make sure there is consistency in coffee making.


Results for the Prices of Café Royale Food & Drink

79.79% of survey respondents found that RCafé prices were good-excellent. 20.21% found it below adequate-wholly unacceptable. The top reasons given for the negative responses were:

1)   Hot food is reasonably priced, but sandwiches are too expensive
2)   Coffee is too expensive

SU Response: We changed ingredients in sandwiches to include higher quality ingredients and also encourage the meal deal with sandwiches so its better value.  The coffee cups have been increased in size and the price has stayed the same.


Results for Café Royale Ambience & Decor

94.95% of survey respondents found that the ambience/décor of the RCafé was good-excellent. 5.05% found it below adequate-wholly unacceptable. The top reasons given for the negative responses were:

1)   More space needed

SU Response: I think adding more places would ruin the vibe of the Cafe.  Making a crowded hectic environment would be really alter the ambience in a negative way. The College has not offered any more space for the SU to expand its facilities.


Results for Café Royale Seating Area & Capacity

82.35% of survey respondents found that the seating area at the SU RCafé was good-excellent. 17.65% found it below adequate-wholly unacceptable. The top reasons given for the negative responses were:

1)   Needs more space
2)   Benches are too rickety

 SU Response: As I understand the cafe will get some new seating, chair etc. in the next term.


What products or services would you like to see at the Café Royale?

76 people responded to this question. The top 5 results were:

1)   Would like to see regular bar nights
2)   Expanded kitchen
3)   More hot food
4)   Improve seating
5)    Extend opening hours

 SU Response: We’re doing more bar nights, at least once a month to start with. The other points have been responded to above. 

 


ArtBar Survey // Responses by Paul Tolkaciovas, Kensington Operations Manager


Results for ArtBar Outreach

We found that 89.60%%  of 173 survey respondents regularly visit the ArtBar, with about 78.03% visiting 0-2 times a week. It was found that students visit the ArtBar the most on Thursdays and Fridays.


Results for ArtBar Staff Service & Cleanliness

94.63% of survey respondents found that staff service & cleanliness was good-excellent. 5.37% found it below adequate-wholly unacceptable. The top reasons given for the negative responses were:

1) Staff are too slow
2) There is not enough staff much of the time

SU Response: 1) The staff are full time students and as such, have not had professional bar staff training. 2) Staff levels are reflected in the busy periods and limited by working space.


Results for the Quality and Choice of ArtBar Drinks

97.22% of survey respondents found that sandwiches at the SU Café were good-excellent. 2.88% found it below adequate-wholly unacceptable. The top reasons given for the negative responses were:

  •      1) There is not enough choice
  •      2) Not enough non-alcoholic drinks 

SU Response – The ArtBar stocks a large variety of drinks aimed to please as many groups of customers. We are looking at the specific feedback and will seek to accomodate those requests. Currently, the ArtBar stocks 12 varieties of non-alcoholic drinks, under ‘soft drinks”.


Results for the Quality and Choice of ArtBar Snacks

72.66% of survey respondents found that snacks at the ArtBar were good-excellent. 27.34% found it below adequate-wholly unacceptable. The top reasons given for the negative responses were:

1)   Needs more variety

2)   Needs more hearty snacks (i.e. sandwiches or chips)

 SU Response: The ArtBar stocks a large variety of snacks aimed to please as many groups of customers. We are currently looking into options to provide hearty snacks – such as sausage rolls – in the ArtBar in the evenings.


Results for the Prices of ArtBar Drinks

86.13% of survey respondents found that RCafé prices were good-excellent. 13.87% found it below adequate-wholly unacceptable. The top reasons given for the negative responses were:

1)   Prices are ok, but could be cheaper
2)   Should match prices at Imperial or Wetherspoons

SU Response: There is a law in place preventing venders selling alcohol too cheap. 2) ArtBar is price matched to IC and cheaper than Wetherspoons.


Results for ArtBar Ambience & Decor

59.44% of survey respondents found that the ambience/décor of the ArtBar was good-excellent. 40.56% found it below adequate-wholly unacceptable. The top reasons given for the negative responses were:

1)   Too dark/The lighting is terrible
2)   Seats cold and uncomfortable
3)   Needs more decor
4)   Needs to be more cosy
5)   Too loud

 SU Response – The ArtBAr is currently under construction and should be complete by the Easter holiday. All feedback regarding the ambience and decor has been relayed to the designers.


Results for ArtBar Seating Area & Capacity

72.61% of survey respondents found that the seating area at the SU ArtBar was good-excellent. 27.39% found it below adequate-wholly unacceptable. The top reasons given for the negative responses were:

1)   The concrete benches are too uncomfortable, cold, and hard
2)   There needs to be more seating options in general.

 SU Response: The ArtBar is currently under construction. All feedback regarding the ambience and decor has been relayed to the designers. We will attempt to put more budget in soft furnishings and seating where we can.


Results for Quality of ArtBar Events

78.30% of survey respondents found that the events at the SU ArtBar were good-excellent. 21.70% found it below adequate-wholly unacceptable. The top reasons given for the negative responses were:

1)   Events are unappealing
2)   Service is too slow
3)   Not enough events
4)   DJs are bad
5)   Needs better sound system

SU Response: Lack of funds affect all of the above because we cannot operate more than two pumps and cannot hire more than 4 staff due to working space. We also need another member of staff to create more events, and we are consulting the Board of Trustees to hire another member of staff to do so.


What products or services would you like to see at the ArtBar?

76 people responded to this question. The top 5 results were:

1)   Improve drinks selection
2)   Improve snack selection
3)   Improve prices
4)   Improve soundsystem
5)   Add more non-alcoholic options

SU Response: We will look into implementing all of the above to achieve the best results.


What suggestions would you have for improving the ArtBar in general?

76 people responded to this question. The top 6 results were:

1)   Improve the seating/decor
2)   Plan better/more ArtBar events
3)   Improve staff service
4)   Improve ventilation
5)   Create daytime access, and access to the terrace
6)   Turn down the music

SU Response: We will look into implementing all of the above to achieve the best results.

 

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