Jazzman’s service needs improving, students say

As business at Jazzman’s Café improves, students and staff still spot ways in which the coffee shop is lacking in service and location.

Although they enjoy going to Jazzman’s, located in Coleman Library, some say that the long lines, closing in the middle of the day, lack of product and location are some of the things that should change about Jazzman’s.

Even though people criticize certain aspects of the small shop, Terry L. Woodard, general manager of dining services, wants students to know that the café’s business is improving and it will not close.

“We’re doing extremely well at Jazzman’s,” said Woodard, who added the café’s daily sales have gone from 100-125 people a day to 150-200 a day.

Woodard said he is making sure that the coffee shop gets more business by making sure more people know about it. He put Jazzman’s advertising in last season’s football programs and the 2005-06 telephone directory, and he has passed out fliers across campus.

“We’re doing a lot of notifications, if you will,” Woodard said. “We’re just trying to beef up the marketing.”

Billy Sanders, 26, who visits Jazzman’s two to four times a week, enjoys that he can get something other than cooked food when he visits the library café.

“There’s no variety on campus,” said Sanders, a former American sign language professor from St. Paul, Minn. “Maybe you don’t want cooked food; you want something simple. I don’t really care for the Orange Room.”

He enjoys going to the café especially since it is in the middle of campus, but he is critical when it comes to Jazzman’s and what they can do to improve.

Sanders said the café could improve its hours. Not only is he upset that Jazzman’s does not stay open later, he gets annoyed when he goes there in the afternoon and it is closed.

“They close in the middle of the day. What’s up with that?” Sanders said.

He thinks Jazzman’s should stay open to midnight to cater to the students’ studying late in the library.

Dining Services Manager Terry L. Woodard said that with Jazzman’s new hours, 8 a.m.-9 p.m., students will be able to visit the café throughout the day.

Aside from routinely discovering the debit and credit card machine has broken after he has reached the front of the line, Sanders thinks Jazzman’s needs to work on making the line move faster.

“Say I come here in the morning, all the stuff that’s (supposed to be) cooked isn’t ready yet,” Sanders said.

He suggests the café have more people working so the people who only want something simple like a muffin will not have to wait behind someone who wants something that will take time to make.

Woodard would like to have more people working in the café to get the lines down, but the lack of space holds them back.

“If we had more space, we could probably do better with customer service from the speed standpoint,” Woodard said, acknowledging that the workers in Jazzman’s focus on one customer at a time so they will not seem like they are rushing people.

“We try and wait on one customer at a time to give our customer our undivided attention,” Woodard said. “It’s like if you go to Starbucks; it’s the same thing.”

Although 21-year-old Jonas Severe does not visit Jazzman’s as much as Sanders, he does not want it to close.

“I’m only on campus (at certain) times, and then it’s whenever I have the time,” said Severe, a junior psychology student from Miami. “People need their coffee, especially with these long days.”

Severe thinks that if the café’s location changed, the business might improve.

“There’s not a lot of traffic around here,” Severe said. “(The) location should change more toward the Set. There’s a lot more people that travel around there.”

Woodard is aware that there are comments and concerns. He would like anyone with a comment to e-mail him at diningservices@famu.edu.

Contact Brandon D. Oliver at bdoliver11@yahoo.com