In the next few weeks, McGill will be launching a competitive tender to determine what, if anything, will replace Première Moisson (PM) in the McLennan-Redpath Library Complex. McGill’s food service contract, including the one with PM, is currently set to expire on May 31, right before the start of summer semester.
One long-time PM employee commented on the employment uncertainty she and her co-workers are facing, saying: “We don’t know [if we’re going to keep our jobs]. We have no idea about anything because whoever’s going in [has] the option of looking through [past] hiring files, [and deciding] who to hire that’s already been [working] here.”
Another PM employee told The Bull & Bear: “It’s kind of the same thing every year, we’re always laid off at the end of the year and you know they’re going to call you back but still there’s always that sort of [uncertainty].” Her co-worker added: “I do care, but there’s nothing [we] can do about it. You’ve gotta go with the flow right? What’s there to be sad about? it’s still gonna happen, there’s nothing [we] can do about it.”
When asked about job security for the current PM employees, Monique Lauzon, Marketing Communication and Nutrition Manager for Student Housing and Hospitality Services (SHHS) told The Bull and Bear: “The staff currently employed at PM would be offered to stay on after May 31, 2019. Historically speaking, the vast majority of the staff do choose to continue working at McGill under the new food service contract.”
Lauzon also noted “there is no guarantee that Première Moisson will be replaced after this competitive tender process.” According to Lauzon, the university will be considering other viable contenders, including Tim Hortons, which occupied the location prior to 2014.
Referring to the 2018 Food and Dining Survey undertaken by SHHS, she said: “Première Moisson received an overall positive rating of 74%, [however] some students indicated their preference for a Tim Hortons at Redpath, citing the lower price point.” Lauzon went on to say that the expected response from students is “impossible to assess at this juncture.”
You’ve gotta go with the flow right? What’s there to be sad about? it’s still gonna happen, there’s nothing [we] can do about it.
Referring to the new Fiat Lux Renovation project, Lauzon went on to say that: “any decision made about the feasibility of renovating the Redpath food location will need to take the upcoming Library renovation project —which is slated to begin in early 2022—into account.”
Director of Communications for Première Moisson, Manon Kirouac told The Bull & Bear: “Our ultimate aim at Première Moisson is to continue to offer the students of McGill University a variety of nutritious, flavourful products. Accordingly, we are in the process of organizing focus group sessions with students that we might more properly ascertain their needs and determine how best to meet or surpass their expectations.”
The PM employees speculated that coffee will be an important sale item and stated that if PM is replaced, it would ideally be with a similar style food retailer.
Editor’s Note: On January 28, 2019, Première Moisson contacted The Bull & Bear with this statement.