8 dining hall adjustments to make during the COVID-era

Menus have been simplified and some recipes modified

At the University of Rochester in New York, students can use the Grubhub app to place meal orders from dining halls and pick up groceries from the campus food market.

To give students more flexibility, the market’s hours have been expanded and is now open from 7 am to midnight, says Cam Schauf, the director of Campus Dining Services and Auxiliary Operations.

These added services should take some strain off dining halls and help the university accommodate the reduced number of students who are on campus this fall, Schauf says.

A key to getting to buy-in from students is being open to listening to their ideas for adjusting meal service. Schauf says he responds to students’ emails seven days a week.

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“They understand the restrictions we’re all under,” he says. “We’ve listened to them and made changes. They appreciate that we’re trying to meet their needs for variety.”

Here are other COVID-era adjustments the University of Rochester has made to foodservice:

  • Menus have been simplified and some recipes modified, but the dietary need of students with allergies or religious preferences are being met.
  • Managers and supervisors serve as hosts, helping students social distance while waiting in line and directing traffic flow.
  • All food service employees also took COVID-safety training during the summer.
  • Masks are required except when eating.
  • Inside the dining halls, self-service meals have been eliminated.
  • Seating is limited.
  • Cleaning and sanitizing is rigorous.
University of Rochester student, Kamal Raji, ’21 shops during the Covid-19 pandemic at University of Rochester Hillside Market on April 21, 2020. // photo by Matt Wittmeyer / University of Rochester

UB’s coronavirus page offers complete coverage of the impacts on higher ed.

Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick is a life-long journalist. Prior to writing for District Administration he worked in daily news all over the country, from the NYC suburbs to the Rocky Mountains, Silicon Valley and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He's also in a band.

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