Student leaders pictured during their boycott this week. *Photo by Raymond Hainey
Student leaders pictured during their boycott this week. *Photo by Raymond Hainey

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21: Bermuda College students have won their fight for cheaper food.

Buzz café has offered a range of concessions to the students — who in return ended their week-long boycott of the restaurant chain’s campus outlet.

While students in other parts of the world are taking to the streets against dictators armed with tanks and troops, ours opted for a peaceful protest over the price of panini.

The Bermuda Sun revealed last Friday that college students were planning a boycott of Buzz in a push for more affordable prices.

Bermuda Student Government (SCG) vice-president Stephen Lightbourne said: “We’re delighted that things are happening — it’s good to see some results from our action. “It’s very encouraging. We’re also grateful to Buzz for seeing our side of the argument and working with us to come up with a solution.”

Buzz management has offered a five per cent discount for Bermuda College students and school students in uniform at all their restaurants across the island.

In addition, the firm offered a ten per cent discount from Thursday to Saturday at the college outlet — and pledged to come up with a new menu featuring more affordable dishes.

Mr Lightbourne added that the nearby Paraquet restaurant on South Shore Road had also chipped in to offer a 15 per cent discount to college students.

He said: “It’s all worked out very well and we’re pleased with all the support we’ve had.”

Buzz managing director Holger Eiselt said: “We’re not in the business of upsetting people — we are glad that we’ve been able to come to a compromise solution. Everybody is feeling the pinch at the moment in Bermuda and we’re here to work with people.

“We’re working on a new menu for Bermuda College students which will be very affordable.”

The students’ battle for cheaper food has received wide publicity — and a poll on the Bermuda Sun website showed overwhelming support for their stance.

Earlier this week, the students got a boost when businessman Scott Simmons, who owns Bouchee in Hamilton and Rotisserie Grill in Smith’s, teamed up with Sara Masters, owner of the Flying Chef catering firm, to deliver free food to the college campus.

The protest started on Monday, after students said a series of talks with Buzz had got them nowhere.

They complained a panini and soda could cost between $12-15 — and argued students on a budget couldn’t afford to pay that every day.

The SCG gave away free pizza to students supporting the boycott on Monday, with voluntary donations to a fight fund accepted instead of payment.

The demo was so successful, students decided to extend the boycott for the entire week — but Buzz countered with its solutions yesterday.

Buzz, which operates several branches in Hamilton and around the island, is halfway through a two-year contract to provide catering at the college.