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High prices cause Dining Services to switch sushi companies

Quality over quantity. University Dining Services chose just the opposite when they declined to renew their sushi contract with local restaurant, Uraku, and signed with national company, Okami.

On Feb. 1, sushi from Uraku located at 1616 E. Wooster St. was replaced with sushi from Okami, a common sushi vendor for colleges across the country.

According to Amy Hoops, purchasing coordinator, Uraku raised their prices very high making it illogical to continue business. Instead Dining Services chose Okami, home to “The Robot” a high-speed sushi processing machine designed specifically for Okami to produce 20,000 packs a day.

“I would like to continue to provide the dining services with sushi but they did not accept my price changes,” Day Jung, owner of Uraku, said.

Prices were raised anywhere from 7 cents to 14 cents per unit completely as a business decision in order to cover increases in labor due to new minimum wage laws and material costs, Jung said.

Jung also attributed the raise in price to compensate for the lack of volume the University was ordering.

“The University would buy 300 rolls per day two to three years ago but recently it was only 150 or so,” said Jung.

Opposed to Okami whose sushi comes from Denver, Chicago, Los Angeles and Boston, Uraku sushi was picked up at 8:30 a.m. by the University.

Hoops is aware “everyone prefers a fresh product, but cannot get a fresh product at this time.”

“We are researching for a fresh product hopefully in the fall,” she said.

Nathan Dike, senior, was upset that dining services switched brands of sushi. It used to be really good and dinning centers sold out of it, he said, but now he does not even eat it.

“The new sushi is nasty looking and very processed,” Dike said. “Sushi is meant to be fresh.”

Dike claims he is not the only one upset with the switch claiming there were numerous comment cards in the Union expressing dissatisfaction.

“Ironically, sales have increased and remained steady,” Hoops said. “Despite the difference in product, the amount of sushi sold has increased.”

Is the new sushi really that bad? You be the judge. “Sushi Thursdays” take place in Kreischer, Chily’s and the Union starting at 11 a.m. until the sushi runs out. All rolls, such as California Rolls, Halibut Rolls, Vegetable Rolls and Wasabi Rolls, are $5.59.

However, if you cannot part with the fresh selection, Uraku located across the street from campus, offers various sushi selections formally found on campus as well as their new sushi burrito, which can be eaten on the go.

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