Food Fight: Amherst restaurants want their cut of business from UMass students

Amherst restaurateurs are concerned that UMass is promoting its own Auxiliary Services, which operates UMass’ food and hotel services, and impeding the ability of the local businesses to compete on a level playing field within the regional economy. Due to its large overhead capacity and limited tax and rental obligations, the restaurateurs say, Auxiliary Services is able to engage in business practices, such as offering parents of UMass students free meals throughout the year, that independent businesses can’t afford.

“This is government becoming enterprise,” Reza Rahmani, owner of the restaurant Moti and the nightclub Lit, told the Advocate. “If Walmart were doing this, they’d be sitting in court on monopoly charges.”

Owners of several restaurants, including Moti, the Black Sheep Deli, Antonio’s, Pasta E Basta, and the Hangar Pub and Grill met with state senator Stan Rosenberg, Rep. Ellen Story and Rep. Paul Mark on March 8 at the Ginger Garden in Amherst. A smaller group met with Rosenberg and Story March 15 at the Amherst Brewing Company.

Read on at The Valley Advocate

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