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Bon Appétit and Gordon College FAQ

See below for details on meal plans, dining points, dietary needs and how to take food to go.

What’s the next phase in Dining Services upgrades?
In the fall of 2018, Gordon will introduce the “all-you-care-to-eat” dining experience, which requires an additional renovation of the servery area in Lane Student Center. Over the summer, access to the Tupper Hall dining area will function on a modified schedule to allow for a total rehabilitation of the existing food court. When complete, there will be nine food-serving stations in the food court, including the Grill, Pizza/Pasta, Global, Salad Bar, Deli, Comfort, Vegan, Avoiding Gluten (offerings made without gluten) and Soup/Breakfast. This will further expand the number of food offerings for all students and update the overall dining experience.

How many meal plan choices are there? 
There are four primary plans for the 2018–19 academic year. 

Students living in traditional residence halls choose from among three options: the basic 190-meal block plan, the 240-meal block plan (which is the same price but features a different mix of “swipes” and dining points), and the premium plan (with unlimited swipes during the semester). 

Apartment residents with kitchens can choose the apartment version of meal blocks or the dining points-only option. (These two options are available only to students in Bromley Hall, Tavilla Hall, the five Ferrin Hall apartments, the Village and Dexter House.)

  • Basic Meal Block Plans—the “190” or the “240” (Residence Halls)
    Students residing in our traditional residence halls are required to participate in at least the basic meal block plan, which costs $2,035 per semester. There are two versions with the same cost:
  • 190 all-you-care-to-eat meals (swipes) plus 8 guest swipes and 300 dining points
  • 240 all-you-care-to-eat meals (swipes) plus 8 guest swipes and 100 dining points 
  • Premium Meal Block Plan (Residence Halls) 
    The premium plan, which costs $2,250 per semester, includes unlimited all-you-care-to-eat meals (swipes) plus 8 guest swipes and 100 dining points.
  • Modified Plan Options (Apartment Residents)
    Residents of Bromley Hall, Tavilla Hall, the five Ferrin Hall apartments, the Village, or Dexter House are automatically enrolled in the 80-meal block plan, which costs $1,020 per semester. This includes 80 all-you-care-to-eat meals (swipes) plus 4 guest swipes and with 250 dining points. For the same cost they can choose 1,020 dining points with no swipes. Apartment residents not wishing to participate in the meal block program can contact the Office of Student Life to opt out.

Meal blocks (swipes) can be used throughout the semester in the Lane food court for all-you-care-to-eat meals in Tupper Hall, at the student's discretion, giving them control and management of their meals during the semester. Dining points can be used in any of the retail locations on campus or to pay the door rate for the all-you-care-to-eat venue. Students needing specialized dietary plans will be assisted by the College Dining Services Director.

What is a meal swap?
Meal blocks can be used for meal swap at designated meal hours in Gillies, Bistro 225 and the Bennett Center Café. A meal swap will be offered as an alternative to using a meal block in the Lane Café. “Meals in a Minute” is the concept name for our robust meal exchange program. The program is designed for the student on the go. For starters, a “pick four” format allows the student to choose between a hot entrée, sandwich or an entrée salad. A student may then add two side items such as a soup, side salad, side dish, fresh fruit or a dessert and then to top it off with a hot or cold beverage. With this program, students on a meal plan may take advantage of a complete meal that is portable and can be taken on the go or enjoyed in one of our seating areas. 

How were the number of meal swipes determined for each of the basic plans?
The College worked with Bon Appetit’s guidance to set the two variations to determine the ranges and keep our price-point affordable, based on their knowledge of the college dining marketplace. They are confident most students will not run out of meal swipes with the choices of 190 or 240 swipes that will be offered. We calculate that these plans translate into an average of 12 and 15 meals per week, respectively. This is generally sufficient for most students because common practice includes going off campus for meals occasionally, utilizing the Highland Express to pick up small amounts of groceries, visiting friends’ homes in the area, not typically eating breakfast, or otherwise skipping meals in the main dining hall and picking up something in the retail locations on campus. Plus, for those students who really believe they may be at risk of running out of meal swipes, the College is also offering the premium plan—unlimited swipe option for the all-you-care-to-eat venue—for the additional cost of $215 for the semester, which is comparatively modest. For a student that will actually eat the number of meals available during a full semester, the unlimited swipe option is a good deal. 

Can I eat in the Food Court without using a meal block (swipe)?
Yes, you can eat in the Food Court without using a swipe by paying what is known as the “door rate” for that particular dining option, which can be paid using dining points or even by credit card. The door rate is an entry price into the all-you-care-to-eat Food Court for the meal being served at that time. The prices for next year are projected to be as follows:

Breakfast Lunch Brunch Dinner
$8.00 $11.00 $11.00 $12.50

Are other reduced meal plans available?
Enrollment in a meal plan is optional for students residing in Bromley Hall, Tavilla Hall, the five Ferrin Hall apartments, the Village, or Dexter House(which have kitchens). Residents of these buildings are automatically enrolled in the 80-meal block plan, which costs $1,020 per semester.Students who are apartment residents and commuting students may also opt into any of the three larger meal block plans identified above. Apartment residents who prefer a different meal plan, or none at all, should contact the Office of Student Life to opt out or in. All other students residing on campus are required to participate in one of the three meal block (the 190, 240 or premium) plans.

How do dining points work?
Meal block plans feature various combinations of swipes (all-you-care-to-eat meals) and dining points. The student ID card serves as the meal plan card. Outside of the Lane food court, students can present their ID cards to purchase food with credit from their account at Gillie’s Café, Bistro 255, Chester’s Place, and the Bennett Café. These retail venues permit à la carte purchases. 

A common misconception is that dining points are “cash in hand.” It is important to understand they are actually the pre-paid cost to access this campus service for a semester. The best analogy is any six-month membership (such as to a health club or organization), where the fee paid in advance covers the fixed costs that the organization needs to fund the labor, supplies and overhead which go into providing the services each day. Whether you attend three times or 30, the cost is still the same. All residential colleges operate on a similar principle for their dining (or “board”) plans, and it is simply not possible to refund the cost or to transfer it for other uses.

Can I sell dining points if they are left over on my meal plan?
Dining points are not transferable between students. Dining points that remain unused at the end of the fall semester roll over for students to use in the spring semester; however, those that remain unused at the end of the spring semester will be forfeited. This is a standard used by most colleges and universities, especially those which feature an all-you-care-to-eat option.

How do I buy more dining points?
To add more dining points throughout the semester, go to https://my.gordon.edu/ and follow the new “Quick Link” for dining points. In addition, dining points may be purchased with a credit card (and valid student ID) right at the register of any dining venue.

What is the commuter meal plan?
Commuter students can purchase dining points by going to https://my.gordon.edu/ and following the new “Quick Link” for dining points. In addition, dining points may be purchased with a credit card (and valid student ID) right at the register of any dining venue. Alternatively, commuter students may opt into any of the meal plans described above. 

Is there a benefit to using dining points vs cash/debit card/credit card?
The only difference between using dining points instead of cash or cards is the convenience of carrying your student ID rather than additional payment options. Remember that students do not pay meal tax (regardless of whether they use dining dollars, a credit/debit card or cash.) So, if you have guests or family visiting and you want to be uber-frugal, you might want to treat. 

What are the hours of operation at each of the dining halls?
Hours of operation for each location are listed on the Dining Services/Bon Appétit website: http://gordon.cafebonappetit.com/

What options are available for my dietary needs?
Bon Appétit is a restaurant-style food service company that cooks from scratch. They use descriptive menu nomenclature to identify the eight major allergens as much as possible, but because there are situations when cross-contact is unavoidable, or allergens cannot be properly explained in signage, it’s always a good idea to make the staff aware of your dietary needs. The chefs and managers are well-trained to help you with your food allergy needs—so don’t hesitate to ask! They are more than willing to work with you individually on additional dining options. Once the servery renovation is complete, there will be a “pure” station that will feature vegan and vegetarian selections, and an Avoiding Gluten (offerings made without gluten) space that will offer hot and cold favorites. 

Can I take food to go?
Disposable to-go containers are available in all dining venues. While eating in the dining rooms, please be cognizant of the environment and use the china and silverware we have available.