This virus means business: How has COVID-19 affected Pace’s on-campus food services?


Rocco Odell and Ricky Valerio get ready to work at Pace Perk Cafe before the pandemic.

Brianne Gonzalez

Students working on campus at Pace are continuing to work with caution as COVID-19 continues to be a threat. Businesses such as Pace Delivers and Pace Perk Cafe have reopened and have altered operations to prioritize health and safety.

As Pace Delivers begins to offer their delivery services, students must implement guidelines created by the CDC for safety, such as maintaining  6 feet distance between each other while wearing masks.

“Typically, we would have two people in a car but we dropped that down to one,” Jack Neeham, the general manager of Pace Delivers stated. “ Everyone wears a mask at all times as well as face shields and gloves.”

Neeham acknowledges the importance of safety and making his team members feel comfortable working during a pandemic. He created a safe environment by applying the regulations early and getting them checked by multiple offices including Auxiliary Services.

Without knowing what to expect this semester, Pace Delivers has seen a good start in their sales with their loyal customer base. Neeham believes that their team has the manpower necessary to continue to make delivery time as short as possible while following the safety rules.

However compared to a mobile delivery service like Pace Delivers, Pace Perk Cafe has had a different experience this semester. Perk Cafe, an in-person dining cafe, has had to adjust to digital orders.

The senior purchasing manager of Perk, Ricky Valerio heads the four person team in charge of buying the food and supplies for Perk, which has been cut down to two people. With only him and another student purchasing all the needed supplies to keep business running, Valerio admits it has been a hectic start.

“You can’t even go in Perk and order. You have to actually go online to Shopify to place your order,” Valerio stated while discussing the new regulations being followed. “You walk about 15 feet into Perk and someone is going to be there to stop you.”

Unfortunately, Perk has the reputation for being a big hang out spot for all students, especially freshman. One of the biggest sales groups each year is freshman, but this semester they don’t have the opportunity to just walk in. Instead, they must use shopify. Valerio is hopeful that sales and the amount of customers should go back to normal within a week.

Valerio believes through marketing and using social media platforms like Instagram for updates will increase the amount of customers.