Terminating NOLAbucks contract with restaurant is justified

Blackboard Inc.’s decision, supported by Tulane University Dining Services, to terminate the NOLAbucks contract with Crepes a la Cart was the correct decision. Crepes a la Cart violated its contract with NOLAbucks processor BbOne by charging a service fee and mandatory gratuity. BbOne made clear its policy to charge a 9 to 10 percent service charge per transaction. The restaurant knowingly entered into a formal agreement with specific policies and failed to uphold its end of the agreement.

The increase in the number of restaurants accepting NOLAbucks during the last few years indicates the value that both local and chain restaurants see in the program. The fact that no other restaurant has come out publicly with concern about the financial impact of accepting NOLAbucks at its business demonstrates the general viability and financial benefit of BbOne’s program, despite the charge.

As Tulane considers potential merchants and restaurants for next school year, Crepes a la Cart should be welcomed to apply to rejoin the NOLAbucks program. The restaurant has become a favorite of Tulane students, faculty and staff. Additionally, the ownership includes at least one alumnus, who has historically looked for ways to build a positive relationship between the university and the restaurant.

Ultimately, the decision to reenter the program rests with Crepes a la Cart’s management and ownership. As long as the restaurant is willing to adhere to the written policy of the program in the future, however, the university should encourage Crepes a la Cart to rejoin as a NOLAbuck-accepting vendor.