Oxford Brookes restaurant to close at the end of the academic year

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 20th September 2019

Oxford Brookes' university restaurant will close its doors permanently at the end of the academic year, it has been confirmed, after it emerged that it has made an average annual loss of £280,000 for the past four years. 

A statement issued by the university said that the decision to close Brookes Restaurant was made after "careful consideration," and that it too was saddened by the decision, but that it had "a duty to ensure that all of its activities are financially viable." 

"An act of vandalism"

It acknowledged that thousands of Hospitality Management students have honed their skills at the Gispy Lane restaurant, and it has been the recipient of numerous accolades - but that "despite a number of initiatives over the past decade, the restaurant has consistently made a significant annual operating loss." 

A petition to save the restaurant received almost 1,400 signatures from students, alumni, professors and members of the local community. 

Former vice-chancellor of the university said the restaurant was a "great educational asset," while former Oxford City Council leader Bob Price said the closure would be "an act of vandalism." 

Additionally, the Council for Hospitality Management Education wrote an open letter to the vice chancellor, urging the university to "explore alternative business models that would sustain [the restaurant's] operation and permit it to continue to deliver an excellent learning experience for students."  

In its statement, the university promised to find alternative means to allow its hospitality management students to gain the experience they did from working at the restaurant - noting that just four of the 24 modules on the course are directly associated with Brookes Restaurant. 

"Our ambition is to develop and expand our programmes in hospitality management and associated areas," it said. 

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 20th September 2019

Oxford Brookes restaurant to close at the end of the academic year