The Tea Room is back in operation

‘We sold out all our bagels on the first day’

Tea Room to implement flex dollars for students. 
“We sold out all our bagels on the first day.” 
The Journal spoke with Thomas Mulvihill, head manager of the Tea Room. He recalled the coffee store’s reopening on Sept. 17. Located in Beamish-Munro Hall, the Tea Room is a student-run cafe operated under the Engineering Society. 
“We had a three-day run, and I don’t want to say it’s insanely busy, but it has been a lot busier than last year for sure,” Mulvihill said.
“We planned [the bagels] to last us for the whole weekend.”
Last year, the Tea Room was able to operate between September to November. However, due to the pandemic, the coffee shop had to stay closed for the remainder of the 2020-21 academic year. 
This year, Mulvihill said they were able to hire a full 46 staff members. 
“We have a semi-reduced schedule, but we have three to four people working as baristas, and behind the counter at all times,” he said. “Which is definitely an up from last year.” 
While the Tea Room is back in full operation, indoor dining is still restricted, according to Mulvihill. 
“[Indoor dining] is absolutely something we’re working towards,” he said. “Unfortunately, right now we’re just for [open for take-out].”
In 2020, the Tea Room launched a mobile app where customers can make an order for takeout. However, due to the “tricky” commission fees, Mulvihill said they decided to discontinue the system. 
“It was helpful for people who really wanted to make an order, but it is not a sound financial decision.” 
According to Mulvihill, the Tea Room will soon start accepting flex dollars—taxable funds that students can load on the Student Residence & Dining Portal. 
“First and second years right now have never really experienced [the Tea Room],” he said. 
“Having flex is definitely going to be a huge kind of attractor.”
On the marketing side, Mulvihill said the Tea Room will be announcing giveaways on their social media in the upcoming weeks. 
“We’ll be doing that on a semi-regular basis, where you share your favorite drink or comment your favorite drink at the Tea Room to win a free latte.” 
Ending on a positive note, the head manager expressed his excitement for the upcoming year. 
“It was a really great opening day,” he said. “We’re just excited to be open. It was a long approval process.” 

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