Benefits General Services Administration Provides by Operating Cafeterias in Washington, D.C., Federal Buildings

LCD-78-316: Published: May 5, 1978. Publicly Released: May 18, 1978.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Government Services, Inc. (GSI) operates 32 cafeterias and 5 coffee shops in the Washington, D.C., area under contract with the General Services Administration (GSA). The estimated commercial equivalent annual value of benefits provided by the federal government for operating cafeterias and coffee shops in the Washington area is about $9.5 million--$9 million for the space and utilities and $500,000 for equipment maintenance.

GSI had a loss of about $210,000 for calendar year 1977 on its contract with GSA. If the $9.5 million of benefits are included, the total loss would be about $9.7 million. Without these benefits, the cost of food to customers could increase considerably, causing many cafeterias to close. There appears to be no express statutory authorization for operating government-controlled cafeterias in public buildings. The practice of providing the space as a consideration for operating food-service facilities in federal buildings is not unlawful, contrary to public policy, or improper, even though the contractor may appear to have a competitive advantage over other food service operators in the vicinity of federal cafeterias. Government-controlled cafeterias are intended primarily for use by federal employees, but there are no legal restrictions barring the use of federal cafeterias by the public.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Administrator of GSA should provide for disclosure in the GSA annual budget submission of the total benefits granted for operating federal cafeterias and coffee shops.

    Agency Affected:


Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Mar 14, 2018

Mar 13, 2018

Mar 8, 2018

Mar 7, 2018

Feb 28, 2018

Feb 27, 2018

Feb 23, 2018

Feb 16, 2018

Jan 30, 2018

Looking for more? Browse all our products here