Changes made to dining ‘to-go’ system
Donovan Wilson – Reporter
Trial and error is a major component of the current COVID-19 landscape and the to-go system at Connecticut Hall is going through the same process.
“Students were taking anywhere between six and seven containers at a time,” said Dining Services General Manager Anthony Deluca.
At the beginning of the semester, the to-go containers were left where the plates used to be, allowing students to take as many as they wanted.
This resulted in students taking several containers at a time, sometimes for friends who didn’t have any dining plans.
Students would also ask for a container, receive one, and then remain upstairs longer to eat more food.
The new procedure, rather, will be that the student will receive two coupons that allow them one container at two different food stations.
Students currently receive one white slip, redeemable for a small container, and one blue slip, redeemable for a large container. Students are also given a travel cup to fill with the drink of their choice. Drinks will be the only thing students have to serve themselves.
“We have to offer the to-go service. It is partially in place the way it is for social distancing purposes,” said marketing manager Elizabeth Floyd.
The only other major difference between this and the usual procedure is that there is no 15 minute restriction in place for how long a student can be upstairs.
The disconnect comes from the school recently switching over from their previous company, Chartwells, to Sodexo, who is finding their footing while also adapting to the new COVID-19 lifestyle.
One of the major differences this year is that the Conn. Hall dine-in capacity is lower than in previous years. Not allowing dine-in and take out at the same time has allowed more capacity for students to dine-in. The more people taking up seats that don’t need to, would be counterproductive to the reasons why the system is in place.
Another upcoming system is the online food app for the campus called Bite U. The app is available but not yet fully functional. Once it is, students will be able to view menus online, filter the options to their favorite foods and load in their Hoot Loot card to access their points and meal plans from their dorm. There is also the option to load in a credit or debit card.
Many of these options are available to limit the amount of touching that is involved in the food purchasing process and hopefully will cut down the exchange of money. These guidelines also exist at other schools Sodexo works for.
The app will be able to geo-locate, letting the university know where the customers are located and automatically pull up all of the campus dining options. The app also identifies what options are vegan, gluten free or tailored to religious beliefs, to make it easier for students to decide.
All the nutritional data was presented within the app.
“We want to make this part of campus life as accessible for students as possible,” said Deluca.