Crumb Cafe Plans to Undergo Digital Revolution

This semester, the Crumb Café is implementing new changes, which includes a partnership with the Swarthmore College Computer Society that will allow the café to digitize orders. This initiative has the potential to drastically reduce order processing time. Hungry Swatties can look forward to the cafe’s new website, which has introduced a new ticketing system that will allow customers to track orders, establish a queue number, and send email updates when orders are ready.

The past semester also saw drastic changes to the menu, organization, and digital outreach as the café thrived following its 2018 move from Paces to Sharples. The café’s Instagram (@thecrumbcafe) was relaunched, the staff  minimized non-compostable waste, launched a metal straw initiative, and the Culinary Creativity Director, Henry Han ’20, introduced new specials such as poke bowls, crepes, and smoothies. Furthermore, the café increased collaboration with student organizations, hosting events for groups such as ENLACE and Swarthmore Students for Justice in Palestine. 

Crumb Café co-head director, Adam Schauer ’20, addressed his goals for the café and the recent changes it has undergone. 

“It’s really easy for me to get frustrated by a long wait time or a scheduling issue, but when I see how far we’ve come from our glory days in Paces, it makes me so appreciative of our staff, our team, and our customers,” he stated.

Two Swarthmore first years expressed their excitement about the new digital initiative.

“I think it’s going to make ordering a lot easier, and the lines are going to be much shorter,” said Max Miller ’23. “There’s going to be less wastage, too […] we’ll be able to get our food without it being lost.”

Alex Fischmann ‘23 also expressed her interest in the initiative. 

“I think it’ll make [the café] a lot more efficient, and so people will be more willing to just go and hang out at Crumb.” 

Schauer recalled the 40-hour weeks that he and Han worked following the move from Paces to Sharples. He is currently focused on the future of the café and is planning on introducing more elements in his remaining time at Swarthmore. 

“Now that the final wrinkles in the café’s operations have been smoothed out, I and my director team, can focus on new changes to better serve the student body and make our workers’ jobs easier,” Schauer said. “We will be looking into customer loyalty options, like punch cards, and the already-established Crumb Cash gift cards within OneCard, as well as employee appreciation options.” 

The leadership team is also looking to boost the café’s social media presence and introduce an Instagram corner, as well as provide a platform for the display of student art (https://swarthmorephoenix.com/2019/03/21/obituary-the-quiet-room-painting/). 

Schauer discussed the leadership team’s plan to remain committed to improving the café’s sustainability. 

“One major project in this vein is undergoing an internal cost analysis and budgeting update to have the most accurate sense of our financial standing as possible.”

Schauer also addressed the changes in leadership: he, his co-director Steven Fernandez ’20, and three other directors will be graduating at the end of this semester, which makes the leadership handover crucial.

“Now that five of the six of our current directors are graduating this Spring, we really wanted to ensure that our documentation, staff, admin contacts, and other resources are ready for the next generation of Crumb leadership,” he said, detailing his plan for the handover. 

Five members of the café’s night staff have been promoted to directors and will shadow current directors and assume their positions next semester. 

“Our hope is that this initiative will ensure the sustainability of Crumb for years to come ,and we have full confidence in these new directors,” Schauer stated. “In Swarthmore admin’s review of the social scene on campus, when I saw that the Crumb Café was mentioned as welcome and needed new additional social space on campus, it brought me so much happiness to know that my staff have made a real change to Swarthmore for years to come.” 

Indeed, when it comes to providing hungry Swatties with a much-needed late night snack, Crumb Café is unparalleled, and its future looks bright.

Photo courtesy of Princeton Huang for The Phoenix

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