After being a part of campus for more than 60 years, the GW Deli on G Street will start accepting Colonial Cash this year, along with several other venues.
The Colonial Cash system, which allows students to place money on their GWorld card to purchase meals and other goods at both on- and off-campus locations, is available at more than 70 businesses.
New partners this year include the GW Deli, Pizza Movers on Columbia Pike in Arlington, Va., the Juan Valdez Caf? at 19th and F streets and Eli’s Kosher Restaurant in Dupont Circle. New J Street businesses The Salad Garden, Burrito Express and Hot ‘n Not will also accept it as well.
Nancy Haaga, GW’s director of Institutional and Auxiliary Services, said the GW Deli was approached to become a Colonial Cash partner when the program was revamped to accept off-campus partners in fall 2004, but did not join until the end of this summer.
The Foggy Bottom staple, located on G Street between 21st and 22nd streets, has featured unorthodox payment processes, with owners sometimes using a shoebox to hold money that is used to make change during a purchase. The store will start accepting GWorld within the next few weeks.
Haaga said the onus was on the Foggy Bottom Deli to decide whether they wanted to offer Colonial Cash, and after a decision was made the University was able to respond quickly.
“Generally speaking, the most time-consuming part of the process is the period during which the merchant considers becoming a Colonial Cash partner and reviews/signs the agreement,” she wrote in an e-mail Monday. “Once this is accomplished it generally takes a couple of weeks to get the equipment installed and training completed.”
Doug, a GW Deli employee who did not want to give his last name, said the reason the business was not a part of the Colonial Cash system earlier was because they “didn’t find it necessary to join.”
“It was a lot smaller when it first started than it is now,” he said, referring to the Colonial Cash system.
The GWorld system charges a fee to any venue that chooses to become a part of it, and sometimes this charge does not make sense for smaller operations.
Doug added that the deli expects more business this year since it is now a Colonial Cash partner.
“We turned away a lot of customers last year because we didn’t take GWorld,” he said. “There is a lot of business to be gained.”
Haaga said the University approaches businesses that they think students are interested in to join the program. She said GW looks at “recommendations from students and identification of food concepts and restaurants popular with the student age demographics,” as well as places nearby and convenient to campus.
She added that several other businesses are in the process of applying to accept Colonial Cash, but she would not disclose names.
Despite the convenience of Colonial Cash, there have been concerns with it in the past year.
In January, the 7-Eleven located in Mitchell Hall stopped accepting GWorld after the company noticed an unaccounted loss of cash and became concerned about employee theft.
That location later decided to accept GWorld once again, as it was part of their contract with GW. In February, an employee at the CVS on 22nd and E streets was caught making fraudulent charges with students’ GWorld numbers, stealing $1,378 from 16 students.
Another issue centers on a University policy that prohibits vendors from selling alcohol and tobacco on GWorld.
While GW Deli, along with several other Colonial Cash partners, sells cigarettes to some of its patrons, Doug said that the other deli employees will ensure that restricted purchases are not made.
“We are aware of that and it is not a problem,” Doug said.
Haaga said that to enforce the University’s policy, GW uses undercover “shoppers” to monitor whether such prohibited items are being sold on GWorld.
“The GWorld Card merchant compliance program employs secret shoppers to determine if merchants are adhering to the purchase policies,” she said. “Violations are addressed through an established disciplinary process.”