This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
The boarding of the Harvard students is managed on the co-operative plan by a "Harvard Dining Association," which is like the "house committee" of many clubs, but on a larger basis, the different classes and schools being represented on the " Board of Directors," which is composed of fifteen students and is the executive body which engages the steward, second steward and head waiter.
This "house committee" of fifteen, standing in the position of the hotel-keeper, has the task to perform of setting a good table at the lowest possible rate, the students under this arrangement "being furnished with board at its actual cost, and the price consequently flunctuates according to the running expenses from $390 to $4.20 a week. The menu of the three meals is:
Oatmeal. Cracked Wheat. Fried Cod.
Griddle Cakea. Hot Rolls. Toast Coffee. Tea.
Cold Corned Beef. Cold Ham.
Oatmeal. Cracked Wheat.
Boiled potatoes. Mashed Potatoes.
In addition to the regular table d'hott there is an order list a la carte, comprising all the luxuries of a first-class restaurant From this anything will be served at any meal for a reasonable extra charge; all the bills are settled thrice a year at the conclusion of each term. The order list is a most wise provision, for, while it enables one to entertain a friend in an eminently satisfactory manner, it causes the luxuriously inclined to lower the price of living to the more economical - in other words, if the restaurant makes a pro it it lessens the price of board to all.
Breakfast is served from 7.30 to 8.30, with a table for orders only until 10 a. m.; lunch occupies the hour between 12.30 and 1.30, and the dinner hour is from 4.30 to 5.30 in winter and half an hour later in summer. It will be observed that the lateness of the dinner hour gives the college athletes a fine hygienic opportunity to exercise on something other than a full stomach.
The salaried officers are the steward, assistant steward and headwaiter. Under them are eight cooks, sixty waiters and twenty-five other servants. The number of members at present, six hundred and sixty. As might be imagined that number of healthy men are heartier eaters than the average patrons - and matrons - of hotels. There are stowed away daily in the cavernous aggregate collegiate maw one hundred and seventy gallons of milk and five bushels of apples, besides about three hundred pies. It is humiliating to confess that all the wealth of Cambridge intellect cannot educate the American youth above pie, but the fact must remain.
The steward and auditor make their statements every two months. The appended copy of these sheets for the months of January and February will give perhaps a clearer insight than mere words into the financial workings of this eminently succesful co-operative organization:
Bills paid (less water bill)...
Interest on debt...
Interest on advances...
Reduction od debut...
Allowance for absence,etc...
Stock on hand (Jan 1)...
Stock on hand (March 1)...
Sale of grease...
" cold food, etc...
Gas and coal for Saunders' Theatre.
Crockery charged to surplus...
Dividing this balance of $19,337.32 by 5,010, the number of weeks, or students, gives $3.86; adding head money, 10 cents, gives $3.96, or say $4.00 as the cost of board during January and February. An analysis of this charge of $3.96 gives the following result:
Jan. and Feb.
Reduction of debt.....
Allowance for absence.
The head money, let me briefly explain, is given to the steward when the average weekly amount is small - as it enlarges the head money is reduced - virtually giving him a bonus for economy.