Changes to Restaurants On and Near Campus Due to COVID-19
Changes to Restaurants On and Near Campus Due to COVID-19
  • Reporter Park Eu-gene
  • 승인 2022.01.07 01:06
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▲Vaccine pass at the POSTECH Haedong-Aurum Hall
▲Vaccine pass at the POSTECH Haedong-Aurum Hall


Due to social distancing, many stores and restaurants in and around universities have seen losses. A survey of commercial stores around the campus of 15 universities in Seoul, done by Shinhan Card and published by the JoongAng Ilbo, showed that card usage decreased by 23.7% in 2020 compared to 2019. Usage by customers in their 20s decreased, while the usage by customers in their 30s and 40s increased slightly. In particular, restaurants suffered the heaviest losses around universities.
The Postech Times interviewed the owner of Hong Woon, a Chinese takeaway restaurant near campus in Hyoja-dong, about the changes due to the pandemic. The most difficult and bothersome change due to the pandemic is the implementation of the vaccine pass and restrictions on social gatherings. Sales revenue of visiting customers decreased to about one-third the pre-pandemic level. However, the revenue from deliveries doubled, perhaps due to the pandemic and the cold weather.
The Postech Times also interviewed the POSTECH food services team in the Office of Business Affairs, which has suffered great difficulties due to  COVID-19. Due to social distancing, the number of users using the food services, convenience stores, and cafes has decreased. The resulting loss in sales has caused financial difficulties. Furthermore, the rise in wages and consumer prices is causing more financial problems. Sales in 2020 sales fell by 31.6% compared to 2019, and in 2021 it fell by 25.5% compared to 2019. On the other hand, the minimum wage, which has been rising year after year, is expected to rise by 9.7% in 2022 compared to 2019, and consumer prices have also risen more than 10% compared to 2019. The food services team is trying to respond to the financial difficulty while maintaining the current quality of food.
The increase in students on campus has resulted in both profits and deficits. As students entered the dormitories for offline lectures, sales increased, especially at cafes and convenience stores in POSTECH. However, deficits have also accumulated because more students are consuming the school cafeteria meals.
Due to the change in the government’s COVID-19 prevention policy, the food services team has been posting COVID-19 campaign posters, installing vaccine passes, and placing disinfectants at the entrances of the school’s stores.
Meanwhile, the food services team is planning several new businesses. The construction of the e-Sports Colosseum (renovation of Yeonji restaurant) is in progress, with the goal of opening by the end of February this year. On the first floor of the school library, a GS25 convenience store, and the second Coffee NearMe cafe are also planned to open at the end of February this year. As part of the construction of a smart campus, the food services team is currently developing a new food ordering app from all the restaurants and cafes in the university. The app will replace the current paper food service coupons to mobile coupons and accept all card types. This is also aimed at the end of February this year. It is still unclear when the restaurants and the school pub, which are currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will open. However, the food services team hopes that the Log Cabin can be opened sometime this year.
“We ask students to cooperate with the quarantine pass policy and refrain from talking as much as possible during meals or while waiting. We are also asking employees to comply thoroughly with the policy. I hope the COVID-19 pandemic will end soon so that the food services team can actively promote the welfare of students.” said Lee Ju-sang of the food services team.