UD dining halls prepare for students during COVID-19

Dining will look a lot different for students as the fall semester begins, photo of croissant courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. 

Grace Dipierro 
News Staff Writer

In previous semesters, students have used the dining halls to pass the time between classes, get started on homework or get a bite to eat. But during this upcoming semester, things will look much different. 

Dining areas are being reorganized to align with social distancing guidelines. Students will also be required to wear masks in all dining areas as well maintain social distancing when ordering, picking up food and eating. 

Each dining area will be marked with signs detailing directions for students to safely order and purchase meals. There will also be X’s on the ground that mark where students can stand when making orders in person. 

“We spent a lot of time determining how lines will form and tried to have one-way flow to keep students moving and not crossing paths,” said Joan Bauman, Interim Director of UD Dining Services. 

Bauman said that dining services are also encouraging students to use the GET app to order food items. This change should help to limit long lines and keep traffic moving.

There will also be a large selection of grab and go items in order to follow a quick-serve model rather than the made-to-order dining model in the past. 

Current dining areas participating on the GET app include Au Bon Pain, Brown Street Bistro, the Emporium, KU Crossing’s ‘Que and Toss, Marycrest and VWK’s The Grainary and Passports. 

Most of the dining areas will still accept in-person orders with the exception of Passports, which will only take online orders. 

For dining areas that serve sandwiches, customers will need to place an order through the GET app for a custom made sandwich. Otherwise, students can choose from the grab and go pre-made options.

Additionally, the Galley has been temporarily transformed into a made-to-order deli to replace the sandwich area previously housed in Toss.

The Jury Box, a cafe located on the ground floor of the UD Law building, is currently closed.

UD Dining Services has been working with a group of engineering students to start a delivery service through the GET app. In order to have food delivered, orders must be made to Au Bon Pain, KU Toss, or KU ‘Que. Tentatively, there will be about six delivery locations.

Dining venues will also implement contactless checkout to protect both employees and customers. Customers can now hover their cards over a card reader to pay for their meal.

As a result, cash will no longer be an acceptable form of payment. Other areas of high-touch points such as self-serve stations have also been eliminated, except for fountain drinks and coffee. 

Most dining areas will still have indoor seating, but will be reduced to fit no more than 50 percent of their normal capacity.

The indoor seating for dining areas are meant specifically for eating, meaning that students are discouraged from working in dining halls, especially for extended periods of time.

There will be outdoor seating available such as the rooftop located next to Au Bon Pain and outside of the Hangar for students to utilize as well. 

In order to help reduce traffic, students may want to consider purchasing more food all at once so that they do not have to make several trips to the dining hall. Students are also encouraged to buy extra and take additional items back to their place of residence for later.

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