More Bargains Coming to House Cafeterias

Posted May 18, 2010 at 10:33am

Members of Congress and staffers now have cheaper breakfast and lunch options in the House cafeterias after Chief Administrative Officer Dan Beard on Tuesday announced new discount programs.

Until now, Restaurant Associates — the company that runs the cafeterias — has offered a few “value meals” to patrons that usually include a sandwich, chips and a fountain drink. But the prices varied depending on the sandwich, and Members have complained that the cafeterias don’t offer enough cheap options for low-paid staffers.

Starting this week, the cafeterias are offering “Red Tag” deals that range from $4 to $7. For example, $4 will buy soup, a dinner roll and a fountain drink or milk, while $7 will buy one entree, one side and a fountain drink or milk. Breakfast is even cheaper: A donut or bagel plus a 16-ounce coffee or tea runs $2.50.

The deals will be available — to varying degrees — in the Longworth, Rayburn and Ford cafeterias and Capitol Market.

“We’ve been listening to our customers, and our customers have wanted value,” CAO spokesman Jeff Ventura said.

On Monday, Restaurant Associates will roll out another discount program for the cafeterias’ ready-made sandwiches and snacks. Sandwiches like ham and swiss and curry chicken salad will be sold for $3, while a variety of snacks and drinks will be available for $1 or $2.