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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 changes can I expect in the fall of 2018?
There will be a new traffic flow in the main Lane Student Center servery to accommodate the “all-you-care-to-eat” plans. Food Court guests will check in at a register through the Chapel Dining Room. At this point they may choose the food that they want and dine in Tupper Hall or in the Chapel Dining Room. Guests can re-enter the food servery area as many times as they like within a meal period as long as they do not leave the Food Court, Tupper Hall or the Chapel Dining Room. When finished, guests may drop their dishes at the dish-drop in Tupper Hall and exit there or through the Chapel side. Once a guest leaves the dining area, they will need to swipe again to re-enter. For to-go meals, see information about the green box program below.

What’s the next phase in Dining Services upgrades?
With the completion of an entire renovation of the servery area in Lane Student Center in the summer of 2018, Gordon introduced the “all-you-care-to-eat” dining experience. In addition to an upgraded kitchen, the space now features 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.

Can I enter Tupper Hall, Chapel Dining Hall or the Lion’s Den without swiping my card?
During normal dining hours, Tupper Hall and the Food Court will only be available if you swipe your card, pay the door rate or enter using a guest swipe from another meal plan holder. Tupper Hall will be open after dinner services end until the closing of the building (after 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and after 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday). The Chapel Dining Room will be available to all. Those who wish to purchase food in the Food Court and sit in the Chapel Dining Room may do so. They will just need to check in again with the cashier before re-entering the café (no additional swipe will be charged) and cannot share food with other guests. We also ask that no dinnerware or food leaves the dining room. The entrance to the Lion’s Den conference room will now be through Chester’s Place.

Can I take food to go?
If you are dining in Lane, you may not take food to-go besides hand fruit and/or a cookie. If you are not dining in, the new “green box program” allows students to take to go meals using an ecofriendly reusable box. Every student with a meal plan will find a card in their campus mailbox at the beginning of the year. The cards can be turned in at Food Court cash registers for a to-go box. Return the box back to a cashier when you are done and you will get a green box card back. If your box or card is lost, you will have to purchase a new one at the current rate. The 2018/19 rate is $7. Outside of Lane, the “grab and go” style is still available at three other retail venues: Gillies, Bistro 255 and the Bennett Café.

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 may choose that option on the meal plan selection form.

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.

How do I purchase food in Gillies, Bistro 255 and Bennett Café?
Students can either use dining points to purchase items a la carte or use a “board swipe” to select four items from the “pick 4” list (including one entrée, two sides and a beverage) at Gillies, Bistro 255 or Bennett Café. After a “pick 4” has been used for a meal period, no swipes may be used again in that meal period at any location. Unlimited meal plans are only unlimited in Lane Café. Once it is used at another location for “pick 4” it may not be used again in that meal period. If it is used in Lane Café, it may be used there again, but it may not be used at a different location until the next meal period. Unlimited meal plans are only unlimited in Lane Café. Once it is used at another location for “pick 4,” it may not be used again in that meal period. If it is used in the Food Court it may be used there again, but it may not be used at a different location until the next meal period.

Meal periods for board swipes:

Monday through Friday
7–11 a.m. Breakfast
11 a.m.–5 p.m. Lunch
5 p.m.–12 a.m. Dinner

Saturday and Sunday
8–10 a.m. Breakfast
10 a.m.–5 p.m. Lunch
5 p.m.–12 a.m. Dinner

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

Faculty and staff rates are still discounted 50%.

How was the number of meal swipes determined for each of the basic plans?
The College worked with Bon Appétit’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. 

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. 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 and, with the transition to the meal block plans, can no longer be carried over from semester to semester.

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/

Lane Food Court Hours:

Monday through Friday  
7–10:30 a.m. Breakfast
10:30–11 a.m. Continental Breakfast
11 a.m.–2 p.m. Lunch
5–7:30 p.m. Dinner

Saturday and Sunday
8–10 a.m. Continental Breakfast
10 a.m.–1:30 p.m. Brunch
1:30–5 p.m. Light Lunch
5–7 p.m. Dinner

Note: When you use a swipe during a meal period, it may not be used again in that meal period unless you have the unlimited plan.

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.