Habit Burger at Cal Lutheran to reopen in fall 2021

Malcolm Van Halen, Reporter

After over a yearlong closure, the Habit Burger Grill could be reopening for the fall 2021 semester.

Clinton Oie, director of Auxiliaries at Cal Lutheran and liaison with Sodexo Hospitality, said that while the Habit is currently permitted to open, there has not been enough activity on campus to financially support operations. 

“The number of bodies on Campus has more to do with average transactions spread out over all food services in order to sustain certain operations,” Oie said in an email interview. “As an example, if there were more meal plans sold, that would help to support retail (Jamba Juice, Starbucks, Ullman To Go, Habit Burger) as sales fluctuate up and down.​”

Ventura County’s move into the Orange Tier allows “some indoor businesses to open with modifications,” according to the State of California Blueprint for a Safer Economy website. To enter this tier, counties need to have between “2.0 –5.9 daily new cases” per 100,ooo residents, and “less than 5.3% positive tests.”  

Restaurants on campus rely on a consistent customer base to cover the operating costs.

“​If we looked at the Habit as a stand alone operation separate from meal plans, to break even for Lunch at Habit – 10:30 AM to 2:00 PM we would need to serve 180 customers with an average check of $8.72,” Oie said. “This is based on a 42% food cost, 11% paper cost and 40% labor cost.”

Currently, there are only 620 students living on campus, but Residence Life plans to double that in fall 2021.

Oie said he is looking forward to the fall semester and “having more students on Campus and the energy they bring with them.​​”