Students sink their teeth into new meal plans in effort to improve dining experience
Major changes have occurred to dining hall meal plans this year and are expected to be popular among students.
Students now have the option to eat as much as they want, anytime they want. With a new format and new features, the meal plans are expected to ensure success.
“It’s called the anytime plan, it’s great,” said Lori Helmer, Director of Dining Services.
She feels students will be happy with the new plan.
“We wanted it to be flexible so students can use it whenever they want to,” Helmer explained.
She said it’s all based on student input as to what they would like to see. Last year, students could only have so many meals per week and they felt like it wasn’t a good value, she said.
For the Resident Hall Board Plans, students can dine in the residential restaurants during regular operating hours anytime they please. The four board plans include Bulldog Anytime Bronze (Weekday Plan), Bulldog Anytime Silver, Bulldog Anytime Gold and Bulldog Anytime Platinum.
Most of the plans include “Bulldog Bucks”, which is the new name for the former “Dining Dollars.”
Bulldog Bucks can be used for additional purchases beyond students’ meal plans and work like a debit account. Depending on the plan the student has selected, they will receive a set balance. They can be used at any of the four retail stores on campus including The Market, Quiznos, Starbucks and the Rankin Center Gourmet Coffee Shop.
Also included as a new feature are Guest Meal Passes.
“They were extremely excited,” said Helmer. In the previous plan, students did not like to use their bulldog bucks for guests, so students now have the option of using a set number of guest meal passes depending on their anytime plan per semester,” said Helmer. Unused guest meal passes carry over from Fall to Spring semester, but must be used by the end of the Spring semester.
Students can eat anytime at the Rock Cafe’, Westview Dining Center, which are both open 7 days a week from 7 a.m. to 12 a.m., and Center Ice Food Court, which is open Monday-Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
All of the money that comes with the meal plans will roll over from Fall to Spring Semester, which is also a new feature. Dining Dollars had to be used by the end of the semester, or else they’d be gone, said Helmer.
Craig Bowman, Culinary Specialist, said from the experiences of other universities we’ve spoken with, it’s been pretty successful.
“It’s a great thing, it’s a really great thing,” said Julie Modene, Stockroom and Marketing Specialist. “We think we’re going to meet everyone’s expectations,” said Helmer.