AFGE Local 2113
Answers to Your Questions

Answers To Your Questions Concerning the Cafeteria:
Many questions were raised in response to our survey of food-service preferences in October 2001. Here are some of the answers as far as we know them at this time.

Q: If we go with cafeteria and it takes longer than 90 days to have a new vendor in place, then what? Will NEXCOM continue on until a new service is in place?
A: It is currently expected that the NEX cafeteria operation will cease on 02 February 2002, regardless of whether or not we have found something to replace it. It is estimated that if we get no response to an RFP for cafeteria service, then Subway would require about 30 days to setup before they could begin serving food.

Q: What will happen to the current cafeteria employees? Will they be given other local jobs with NEXCOM? Will the new operator be required or encouraged to hire current employees?
A: They are NEX employees. Such employees are normally given priority consideration for jobs with the new employer, and it is hoped that NEX will also try to take care of them, but NAWCTSD cannot direct NEX on such matters. NEX may have positions for them in other NEX facilities. NEX will provide them with letters describing their future options for other employment with NEX, but this is not currently scheduled to happen before the last 30 days of NEX operation.

Q: Has anyone considered a chow hall approach complete with Navy Mess Cooks? w/a food contract thru NEXCOM.
A: We do not have enough active-duty military personnel here to justify a Navy mess. NEX does not provide this service anymore (if it ever did).

Q: Without a cafeteria, some of the people who used to use it will eat in and some will go out. Not a good idea to pump up that latter category right now with current events and only one entrance/exit. Productivity will go down also -- unless you believe that all those people going out for one hour and one hour plus lunches are actually recording that time correctly on their time sheets. Finally, not only should the option be there for eating in but it should be ENCOURAGED from a business management standpoint -- the closer you have your employees to their work throughout the day the more intrinsically involved they're going to be with it.

Besides all the above, from a very cavalier profit and loss viewpoint it's typically found that most businesses with over 1,000 people do have their own eating facilities on the premises. And many with less employees also have them. Those eateries wouldn't be there if they weren't profitable.

With the added security we still have in place and which will be around for a long time to come, having the cafertia is a benefit to those who do wish to go through the hassle of security and parking.

A: Many such businesses subsidize their inhouse cafeterias. They recognize the benefits you have described and are willing to spend the extra money for them. NAWCTSD currently has no such funding. Unlike regular restaurants, and even though we have a ready supply of 800-1500 potential patrons, we would require services only Monday through Friday, and at reduced volume on Friday as long as employees continue to use RDOs. This does reduce the profit potential of such an operation.

Q: Why doesnít NAWCTSD issue the RFP?
A: NAWCTSD has no experience with non-appropriated funding. It would be a long uphill learning curve on many fronts. NEX has experience contracting for food services. They are already familiar with the jargon, what is customary, key words and tricky phrases in general. We do not have that expertise inhouse, and it would take time to gain it. It is expected that food- services contractors, on the other hand, would have experience and expertise in such areas, and it is reasonable to expect they would use their own expertise to advocate their own interests before ours.

Q: Did anyone advise Navy Exchange Command that we are not a cafeteria in the NEX; but are a group of dedicated DOD folks, military and civilian, who need a place to have lunch?
A: Yes. They visited us and are aware of our situation and arrangement here.

Q: Is the cafeteria at the Pentagon switching to Subway?
A: Iím not sure, but Iím inquiring. Anyone who has been to the Pentagon can tell you that it is a BIG building, and a LOT of people work there. This being the case, they probably have a food court with several vendors. It is my understanding that there are lots of shops within the Pentagon. If anyone knows a better answer to this question, please let me know, and Iíll post the answer (wernerh@navair.navy.mil).

Q: If subway option is elected, for how long do we become "locked in", i.e., how long before RFP could be issued for alternatives?
A: Typical Notice requirements are 30 days if either party is unsatisfied and wants to terminate the arrangement; however, neither the RFP nor contract has yet been written. Shorter notice leadtimes let parties out faster, but leave less time for the other party to make other arrangements. Longer times lock parties together for longer times in an arrangement which may be untenable. There is risk either way. Since a NEX contract with Subway is already in place for other commands, it would be easy for NEX to add us to it. It is estimated that it might take Subway about 30 days to setup once they are given the go-ahead, but we have not decided to do that yet. The survey resulted in a majority of votes for cafeteria style, and we will pursue that option first.

Q: What level of involvement will NAWCTSD have in selecting the vendor if a solicitation was issued?
A: It is our current understanding that NAWCTSD will be involved in the selection.

Q: Is there some reason that it can't be one of the other fast food franchises? [than Subway]
A: No, but a contract is already in place between NEX and Subway. Using any other provider would require that a new contract be negotiated.

Q: Do we have to use the Exchange to get a replacement?
A: No, but they have a lot of expertise in contracting for food services which we do not. (See "Why doesnít NAWCTSD issue the RFP?")

Q: Since we are in an extra special time of caution and security I sincerely hope that any new conversion or new procurement of service considers the major security, health and welfare ramifications that may be at stake. Food sources not just the providers must be considered.
A: Security is certainly a concern. With the high employee turnover rate which is common in fast- food operations, it would probably be cost-prohibitive to require DOD Secret clearances for the food-service workers, but some sort of background check will probably be required for any person working within our building. Low employee-turnover rates are desirable. Many employees expressed concern for our current servers, and we will encourage their employment by any new provider which is selected.

Q: There is very limited space in this building to keep food cool and what is available is maintained sporadically by a few motivated employees. This could be a health issue under certain circumstances. Is it possible to get more refrigerator space near our work areas and provide for upkeep?
A: We are tight on building space and are almost maxed out on safe power loading (which in turn must be balanced within the building). Many additional loads e.g., coffee messes, what few refrigerators we have, lots of computers and CRT monitors have been added since the buildingís electrical system was designed and built.

Q: Perhaps we could encourage the people who work in our cafeteria to forge ahead on their own - set up their own business to continue as they are now, but being their own company instead of working for someone else?
A: Most of them are interested in continuing working. Someone would be needed to manage the operation, and that person would also have to work under contract with NEX. If you know of someone who might be willing to do this, please encourage him/her to review the RFP when it comes out and submit a proposal.


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This page was last updated on November 6, 2001