(Creative Commons/Richard Ricciardi)

Disclaimer: This piece is intended to be purely satirical, and is not genuine criticism of a coffeehouse affected by COVID-19 created labor shortages. Please take this writing with a grain of salt!

As college life slowly returns to normal following the start of the pandemic, Emory University students have found a new outlet for their outrage — one I wholeheartedly support — Kaldi’s. The Emory cafe has recently come under fire for their reduced hours and flatbread sizes. 

Before I dive into my concerns, I must apologize for venting via article. I’m a College Council legislator, and I was informed that I couldn’t draft and pass a semi-useless resolution condemning Kaldi’s flatbread sizes — a responsibility that falls under the purview of the Student Government Association. As they too are slacking, I am left with no choice. So, it is with a heavy heart that I must blast this esteemed and loved coffeehouse not via legislation, but through The Emory Wheel. 

My fellow upperclassmen and I fondly remember Kaldi’s at The Depot as a social location where students vied for couch spots at 1 a.m., fueled by coffee and energized by the collective procrastination of their peers. They frantically typed out papers, crammed for their midterms and nibbled on a delicious flatbread as they groaned, “I’m so screwed, this is due in three hours” to people they had just met. Yet over the past year, a stretched labor market has caused Kaldi’s to close their doors at 10 p.m., which is when most students only begin to stressfully work on procrastinated assignments. 

Kaldi’s hours are not the only source of student distress. Flatbread hours and sizes have also shrunk. Gone are the beautiful, large, delicious round of dough, sauce and cheese; instead, they’ve been replaced by tinier, meagre ovals. The café offers flatbreads for only four hours a day, and students must ask for them specifically by name, as they are not mentioned on menus. This has, of course, led to high tension and a frantically-turning rumor mill: is Kaldi’s phasing out one of the best parts of Emory Dining? Dissuading students from spending $10 per flatbread only to have most of their slices stolen by their friends? God, I hope not.

Enough is enough. In a semester where student’s mental health has been declining, Emory students can take no more. We demand better. The original Kaldi’s flatbreads must return to both their menu and must be re-offered at all times of day, not just past 6 p.m.

Rhea Gupta (23C) is from Mumbai, India