Last updated: 4/7/2020 @ 1:45 p.m. EST

Collegiate Dining's Response to COVID-19

Given the rapidly changing environment surrounding COVID-19, NACUFS has gathered content shared via the Discussion List (DL) and complied them under subject headings. Continue to send items to the DL or email us.

This page will be updated on a continual basis. The following will guide NACUFS:

  1. NACUFS will review submissions to the Discussion List ("DL") and may post those related to COVID-19 on this webpage.
  2. All content posted to the webpage will be anonymous (unless you provide specific college or university content on letterhead or other branded materials being used by your institution).
  3. All college and university branded materials will be converted to PDF for posting on the webpage.
  4. NACUFS reserves the right to edit and/or modify the content for the purpose of clarity, grammar, and punctuation.
 

Meal Plan Refunds

Prorated refunds of meal plans will be processed. The refund will include a prorated portion of all meal plans (utilizing a chart that prorates all meal plans by the day) and all remaining unspent spring semester declining funds. For students receiving refunds, their meal plans and declining accounts will not be active after the date for which this process is set to begin. For students on fraternity meal plans, we are currently working on the refund process. All refunds will appear in statements issued from the Bursar’s Office.

Five dining halls are expected to remain open in order to ensure adequate social distancing of seating. All food will be served by staff. Anyone leaving campus will have board rate pro-rated and credited to their term bill.

Students who leave campus will receive a prorated adjustment to meal plans as of a certain date. Students with off-campus meal plans can be released and will receive the credit as well.

Taking care of the students’ food needs regardless of the meal plan. 

Other options/considerations for meal plan refunds include:

 

Residence Halls

Residence halls are remaining open; however, students must request to stay/return after Spring Break.

Students have been given the option to stay on campus through Spring Break and until the end of the semester and/or leave for Spring Break and are "strongly recommended to stay at their destination site" if they leave.

Residence halls are open but have restrictions in place. Students must make a request, but not turning anyone down. President's message encourages students to stay home.

Students had to apply for an exemption to stay.

Students have to request to remain in the residence hall and all requests will be honored through Spring Break.

Students have to petition to stay. We have a large international population that are doing this.

Students asked to move out by a specific date; those with permission to stay will be moved into new rooms where they can have one (1) person to one (1) bathroom.

Students can petition to stay; those leaving will have their room and board prorated from their last day on campus.

Any student leaving campus will have board rate prorated and credited to their term bill.

We are offering optional move-out. Refunds will be offered and prorated to the day of move out.

Residence halls are closed for the remainder of the semester. Students may request accommodations.

130 students were given approval to remain on campus, and they reserve a time to come to the dining center to collect their food in take-out containers to take back to their residence. 

 

Dining Halls & Other Food Outlets

Dishes have been replaced with compostable paper claim-shells and utensils. The clamshell also encourages students to take food to go 

Self-serve options are no longer available, and all meals are prepared by staff.

Five dining halls are expected to remain open in order to ensure adequate social distancing of seating. All food will be served by staff.

The AYCTE facility will be open through Spring Break with meal plans in effect; Starbucks/Bookstore/C-Store open. We will be closing Campus Cafes. Other operations will be evaluated for hours of operations based on the number of students on campus.

Dining centers are closed for spring break and will reopen for the two-week online class period, with all menu items served by staff (no self-service). Planning to be open regular hours, depending on student staff availability.

Two of seven retail outlets will be closed for the two-week online class period; the remaining five will be open with reduced hours and services.

Keeping our smallest seating dining units open to further encourage students not to sit together without telling them not too.

Transitioned our AYCTE facility into served only. Salad bar and condiment stations, soups, buffet, desserts, self-serve pizza, etc. are all gone. Everything is dished to order and handed to the customer.

Consolidating into one dining facility and for the time being, keeping our public-facing café’s open.

Meals being served in one dining center but because of social distancing, are being asked to get a meal in a to-go box and eat it in their room.

Transform self‐serve stations to allow only employees to serve food to the students.   

Grab-and-go food and other items like straws will are individually wrapped and refillable cup program is suspended.

Moved to self-swipe all to-go meal and self-swipe all take out convenience store.

Governor has issued a decree for all restaurants to move to take-out or delivery only, serving take-out. A ticketing system has been put in place so no more than 15 people can come into the dining center at one time. (Still want students to have contact with staff visually, to reassure them, as well as staff, since everyone is to remain apart.) Will continue this process until such time everyone is to shelter in place.

One dining hall is set up with no seating, but students are able to come in and swipe for their meal and a cashier is close by in case there are any issues. This cashier also wipes down the kiosk and surrounding area once per hour.

Students go through the hotline with a staff member utilizing a to-go container filling as desired and the staff member will hand the student the disposable takeout container. Students go through the cold area and a staff member will place cold items into a bag and hands it to the student.

Three retail units are open – all prepackaged grab and go. All fresh options have been removed.

Filling take-out containers to order to enable choice around allergens, cultural choices, gluten, etc.

Staff is consolidated and are now operating a limited number of locations (eg, two) to effectively utilize inventory. Locations are staffed exclusively by Campus Dining leadership, General Managers and Chefs working around the clock to feed students. All other market outlets are closed so efforts could be focused on the limited open dining locations.

- To ensure the health and safety of campus dining staff, all hourly dining staff were sent home with pay for the remainder of their shifts. Additionally, 4 groups of leadership were created to rotate duties at those locations. This promotes social distancing, and in the event one member of the team contracts the virus, another team can be called in that have not had exposure.

Staff coordinates with key suppliers to ensure an uninterrupted supply chain, and in many cases, significantly increased backup and emergency food supplies.

Plans are in place to adopt a meal delivery system in case the campus is placed on quarantine. This plan utilizes inventory on hand and switches to MRE meals if necessary.

Changes made to adopt CDC-recommended protocol include switching completely to “to-go” orders, eliminating self-serve options and the check-out system, and creating tailored menus so patrons can be served quickly. All these options include meal items available for students who have allergies, dietary preferences, and religious restrictions.

130 students were given approval to remain on campus, and they reserve a time to come to the dining center to collect their food in take-out containers to take back to their residence. 

Other options/considerations for dining services include:

 

Feeding Students Unable to Go Home

Moving students out of residence halls and into apartments.

As students move out and apartments cleaned, the apartments with kitchens are being stocked with food, beverage and paper goods. Also gathering up other supplies.

Maintaining one operation where students can pick up a take-out meal. Everything is served to them and single-use items are available for them to supplement their meals. We limit the operation to no more than 10 people at a time and encourage social distancing while getting their meal. No seating is available to them. For our service departments that normally dine with us, we are providing box lunches that we deliver to the work area for distribution.

Other options/considerations for feeding students unable to go home include:

 

Statements to Students

Regarding Closure/Pending Closure

“We are closely monitoring conditions through April 3, 2020.  Once we know more about the plan to move forward for the remainder of the semester, the University will decide regarding adjustments to housing and board charges.”

“Hospitality Services is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of all students in the (insert institution name) community. The department continues to monitor the situation and will follow the university’s lead in implementing a plan which supports the campus community. The best prevention methods are standard hygiene practices and self-monitoring, and we are taking precautions and putting preventive measures in place to increase safety. In addition to our current cleaning and sanitation practices, we are taking additional steps within our dining locations.”

 

Face Masks/Gloves 

The topic is starting to develop.

Our medical team feel that N95 respirators or masks are unnecessary at this time, and we consult with each other daily to see if that thinking has changed.

Other options/considerations for face masks/gloves include:

 
 

On-Campus Quarantine/Sick/Isolation

Become aware of proper quarantine areas for possibly infected students and prepare packaged, in‐house frozen meals for them. 

Students who are in quarantine from studying abroad are receiving shelf-stable food and if/when the students need to be in isolation, we will provide this space.

Utilize the ‘sick tray procedure’ to deliver the meals to possibly infected students in quarantine.

Food is provided to students in quarantine is mostly shelf-stable and frozen; enough for five days as refrigerators/freezers are not large in apartments.

No contact with food production staff or students. Hired a third-party delivery company to drop off meals for isolated students. Staff will leave the product on the dock, the delivery company will pick it up and drop off at the door of the student. (Have an existing relationship with the third-party company; amended contract.)

Once a student is quarantined, two meals a day are being delivered using disposable utensils and clamshell placed in a cardboard box. First meal (brunch-style): box cereal, yogurt, bottled water, a meal, and snack* bars. Second meal (dinner): meal and beverage. *Snacks bars are meant to be used during the evening and morning so meal insecurity does not become an issue.

Implementation of an SMS text message-based ordering system through Touchwork for students in quarantine and self-isolation is successful.  Students confined to their residence hall rooms can text a unique code, and order from a menu of options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Meals are prepared by Campus Dining chefs, then delivered to student rooms by DOS staff. 

Delivering meals to quarantined and isolated students with no contact. The meal is dropped off at a designated spot and then the student receives an email that their meal has been delivered.

Ask the student if any dietary restriction or allergens we should account for. The following is delivered by the manager, 1st Cook or 2nd Cook.

  • Brunch Delivery – Must include Brunch Meal (6x9 Clamshell),1- Dessert item, 1 - Hand Fruit, Flavored Beverage, Bottle Water, Snacks 2 of the following items (Bars, Yogurt Cup, Cereal)
  • Dinner Delivery – Must include Dinner Meal (6x9 Clamshell), 1- Dessert item, 1 - Hand Fruit, Flavored Beverage, Bottle Water
  • Grab n Go– Bags
    • Utensil Pre Pack
    • Condiments: Dressing, Salt & Pepper, Ketchup & Mayo (When applicable).

We will call or text the student when leaving the dining hall to deliver and call or text the student when the food has been delivered.

When we had students on campus that had the need to self-isolate who lived in a traditional residence hall, the college made the decision to relocate them to a private house that they owned that were vacant. The house was supplied with the necessary furniture, kitchen pans, and utensil, disposables, etc. We would contact them that we were coming with their delivery and knock on their door. Everything was left on the porch and we had no direct contact with them.

Our index patient had close contact with 40+ on-campus residents and 150+ off-campus residence.  Index patient was originally an off-campus student who was moved on-campus for 14 days of isolation and we delivered 3 meal/day for that person.  43 on-campus residents were placed in self-quarantine at the start of our Spring Break (3/14/20) and we implemented 2 meals per day; brunch and dinner, and these students are provided a Google Form and can look at our (modified service) menu and request items on that menu. Our on-premise team packages their food, and we use vans to deliver to their buildings. These 40+ students were advised to self-quarantine in their own dorm rooms, which meant deliveries to about 17 buildings around our campus.

We created a GETfood merchant for the purpose of meal delivery to sequestered individuals. Here is the safety protocol for delivery that we developed with our Environmental Health and Safety dept.

Safety Protocols/ Process:

  • The dining staff will deliver to the exterior door of the unit (all of our units for this purpose have exterior doors).
  • Delivery personnel will “Electronically notify and drop”.
  • If needed, delivery can knock but should minimize surface contact by using an object other than their handor selecting a place on the door that would not be touched very often because of location.
    • Delivery personnel will not wait for an answer.
    • Delivery vehicles will have sanitizer wipes and/or gels and will be used before and after each delivery.

Other options/considerations for quarantine/sick/isolation include:

  • Hire a third party to deliver food to isolation apartments; leaving the delivery on the dock, it's picked up by the third party and dropped at the students' door with a text.
  • Students in self-isolation or self-quarantine need to have a private room with a private bathroom to be compliant with CDC guidelines.
 

Communication Plans During a Pandemic

The topic is starting to develop.

FEMA emergency procedures call for three primary areas of concentration – COMMAND, CONTROL AND COMMUNICATIONS.  Of these three, "communications" is the least defined and has the most potential to community affect the reactions your community has to the ways you are meeting their needs. 

In this section, please post any communications procedures or processes you are willing to share that you have employed during this Coronavirus Pandemic. 

 

Cleaning Isolation Areas/Apartments/Dorms

Housing that had isolated students are being left vacant for one week before the cleaning crews are going in to clean, disinfect and sanitize the units.

 

Other Topics of Discussion

How is your institution addressing seating capacity for students who petition to stay on campus? Email us and let us know!

Helpful External Resources