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More Money, More Problems at HamDel (Really!)

As we reported yesterday, HamDel decided to stop accepting Flex Points. The secession came as a surprise to CCSC and to the positively Lincolnian Michael Novielli (of Student Auxiliary and Business Services), who stopped by HamDel today to speak with the owner, Nick.

According to Nick, the long lines of students eager for sandwiches and eager to pay with Flex were alienating his “regular customers.” (Though Bwog would have guessed that most “regular customers” are probably students.) Anyway, the long lines and longer wait time defied some basic tenets of economics and somehow equated in a loss of customers/profit, finally driving Nick to oust Flex from HamDel.

Novielli’s full email after the jump.

George, Peter, Brian, Molly, Michelle, & Liz,

As you may already know, the BWOG’s report that Hamilton Deli was not

accepting Flex was certainly a surprise to Scott and me. I stopped by

last night and saw the signs, but the owner (Nick) wasn’t in at the

time. Scott called and spoke with Peter, and he also left a voice mail

for George.

David Roberts and I stopped by Hamilton Deli today, and we spoke with

Nick. He wanted everyone to know that he was supportive of the Flex

program, but it simply brought him too much business. He found that the

lines were getting too long, and the store was getting too crowded; as a

result, he noticed that he was losing many of his regular customers due

to the increased wait time.

Nick said that he would be open to exploring other options in the

future, but, for the time being, he made a business decision to no

longer accept Off-Campus Flex.

We apologize for the disappointment this may cause, and we will work to

bring additional vendors on board over the summer.

All the best,


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  • Yogi Berra says:

    @Yogi Berra “Nobody goes to HamDel anymore because it’s too crowded.”

  • WTF says:

    @WTF I don’t really care about Flex, but now HamDel is charging for breakfast meals ordered after 11AM?!?!?! Who the hell does that?? First time I’ve seen a food service establishment actually raise prices for the lunch hour rush. Unfuckingbelievable.

    1. Zach says:

      @Zach That’s not true, a *ton* of places do that. Like 60% of my regular delis. Breakfast stuff takes up valuable grill space.

  • Wooo says:

    @Wooo the only place I find worth using flex is offboard. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that for some reason it takes a full minute to get the transaction through…y does everything columbia do seem fairly good, then suck?

  • too much says:

    @too much business??? that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Don’t b.s. us, you didn’t like having to wait for the machines… too much buisness – no one would turn away too much. especially when there are hundreds of students with so much flex and no where to spend it.

    1. suck my nuts says:

      @suck my nuts Why are people so quick to assume these people don’t know business strategy. They’ve run a successful business for years! It’s easy to imagine why alienating regulars is bad for business, because for four months a year, there ARE NO STUDENT CUSTOMERS.

  • starbucks says:

    @starbucks pay with credit at starbucks. you swipe and go. instant processing, no sig. MC/Visa/Amex assume the liability that they mischarge you because if it’s over 20-30$, they require a signature.

    you know what’s even better? mastercard paypass (or the visa/amex equiv). you don’t even swipe. just tap and go. too bad our cards don’t have rfid.

    oh wait. they do.

    1. ... says:

      @... so check it out. there is no visa/mc/amex involved with flex. the big guys are able to cover the fraudulent transactions because they do about a bagillion a second and collect a shit ton of fees. assuming that columbia collects flex fees, it’s not going to amount to much. if you want to talk about wastes of endowment, covering fraudulent flex charges would be a prime one…

      so yeah, the signature is kinda important.

      i somehow suspect that the owner is not wanting to sour his relationship with columbia by saying “yeah we tried it and it was too damn slow.” if they get transaction times down under 10 seconds, he’d accept it again in a heartbeat…

  • It appears says:

    @It appears they don’t want business. Please forgive them and grant their wishes.

    1. dude says:

      @dude You’re an idiot. Hamdel pretty much is the only quick eating establishment between 114 and 119, Amsterdam to Morningside. they have NO competition

      (subs concious get that shit out of my face)

  • Could you possibly says:

    @Could you possibly ask Nick what font he used for that sign? My money’s on Palatino but I’ve heard mention of Caslon as well.

    1. Nick says:

      @Nick It’s Palatino, no question. The ‘S’ is a dead give-away.

  • 1984 says:

    @1984 “too much business” was admin. doublespeak, not the actual language employed by hamdel.

    this helps prove my original point that hamdel, at least some time in the past, was a grad student hangout, and the owners want to maintain at least some aspect of this (in the form of “the regulars”).

  • idiots says:

    @idiots seriously? of course too much business makes sense. if you only have one guy making sandwiches in a fixed amount of space…and all of a sudden a million people show up wanting to use their new currency, theyre going to be pissed off at how long it takes to get food, especially the ones who had been there before flex and continue to pay in cash/credit…and the next day these people arent going to come back. so yes, there is clearly a dowside to too much business.
    and hamdel has always catered to the workers in the neighborhood, grad students, and residents, not just flex wielding undergrads, because its one of the few places right there thats cheap and decent and usually quick.

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