Richmond, Va., Feb. 20, 2020 —
Employees and customers of the Center Restaurant and Centre Perk Café on Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia, will experience big changes this year. Plans are in place for the current operation to close by June 2020 and reopen under a new business model after a short transition period.
Defense Logistics Agency Installation Management made this decision because of financial losses. Unfortunately, the Center Restaurant has been operating at a financial loss since 2018 and in Sept. 2019, it was officially placed on a performance improvement plan. This type of action is initiated in non-appropriated fund operations such as food and beverage when they fail to reach net income goals over four consecutive quarters.
“The losses are clearly unsustainable, and detrimental to the MWR One Fund’s ability to sustain operations program-wide and reinvest in programs,” said Will Anderson, DLA Family and Morale, Welfare, and Recreation acting staff director at DLA Installation Management, Fort Belvoir, Virginia.
In the MWR/NAF personnel system, this is called a business-based action, which in this instance includes separation of employees. DLA Installation Management leaders recently provided the Center Restaurant employees general notice and information regarding future plans.
“These decisions are never easy, and we certainly don’t take it lightly,” said Will Marjenhoff, MWR Richmond Business and Recreation chief. “Our Center Restaurant team works hard, but we just couldn’t correct course with our current business model. We’re doing all we can within the regulations to support the team. We’re working closely with DLA Installation Management MWR staff, DLA NAF Human Resources and our local union through this process.”
Future plans for the Center Restaurant and Centre Perk Café operations are under development as a joint effort between DLA Installation Management Richmond and MWR program and acquisition staff at DLA Headquarters. The new operation will open subsequent to closing the current operation.
In addition to operating the Center Restaurant, the intention is to have a concessionaire operate the Centre Perk Café and support catering opportunities. The goal is to support the mission to feed the workforce and not only be financially sound, but also result in more positive outcomes for customers.
“Providing advance notice and being transparent is important to all of us involved,” said David Gibson, DLA Installation Management Richmond site director. “We’ll hold workshops for the current employees to ensure we’re helping as much as we can during this transition. Furthermore, there could be employment opportunities for our Center Restaurant team with the concessionaire. We’re requesting that as a consideration.”
DLA Installation Management Richmond will keep customers informed as they work through this process, such as any changes in service levels during the transition and specific transition dates. Watch for the “MWR Richmond Highlights” sent weekly over email broadcast messages. Other sources of information are the MWR Richmond website at www.defensemwr.com/richmond and the MWR Richmond Facebook page.