Dining Guide: In virtual times, dining centers still serve real food

A CSU student reviews the new dining guidelines before entering The Foundry. Photo by John Eisele/CSU Photos

Dining on campus plays an integral role in the collegiate experience, but it will look and feel different this fall due to COVID-19. Just as restaurants and food retailers have had to adapt with reduced seating, to-go menus, extra cleaning, etc., so have the on-campus dining centers.

One of the biggest changes this fall is a mobile ordering system, which has been implemented in just three months.

“Starting this past April, we moved quickly to find vendors who could help us set up mobile ordering and reservation technology to be ready for the major changes that were needed for fall semester,” says Lucas Miller, residential dining services senior associate director. “It’s been a sprint to get the new systems up and running, but with the coordinated help from staff across campus, we’ll have everything ready by the first day of classes. We set up two systems: reservations for the main dining centers and a mobile ordering platform for our Express locations.”

In order to accommodate the new options, RDS has completely changed the service style across the board which includes a complete overhaul of menus.

“Now that buffets are not permitted and in-dining seating has been limited, we have modified our services to offer themed meals in the main dining centers with food that is to-go style,” adds Miller. “In the main dining centers, students pick up an entire meal with an entrée, sides, dessert, and beverages to take out. Our Express locations offer quicker foods, available through our mobile ordering technology. Those menus allow students to order food and receive a text when it’s ready to be picked up. We will also offer Mini Markets that will allow students to order their favorite packaged and bottled groceries and beverages and schedule a pick-up time.”

Four ways to use meal plans

To adhere to physical distancing guidelines, there is very limited seating in the dining centers, so most meals are to-go. There are now four distinct ways to use a meal plan on campus.

Order-ahead meals – Available at Braiden, Durrell, The Foundry, and Ram’s Horn, meals feature rotating themed meals for takeout. Each location rotates different meals, so there are plentiful options available every day. Kosher, Halal (available a la carte ordering only), vegan, vegetarian, and allergen-friendly options are available every day as well. Students can order ahead days in advance or up-to-the-minute and is the go-to for most meal needs.  In-dining seating may be available at these locations on a first-come, first-served basis as regulations allow.

A la carte ordering is available at Durrell Express, Ram’s Horn Express, and RAMwich Express. Build your entrée cart via mobile ordering, select an available pick-up time, and a text notification will be sent once the order is ready.

The Mobile Mini Markets, located at Durrell and Ram’s Horn, offer a variety of grocery and snack items for you to stock up. Build your order online and select an available pick-up time.

Grab & Go options are available during the week at Allison (Spoons) and Newsom hall for a quick bite on the run without scheduling ahead. Mobile ordering is not available at these locations.

Primarily, residents go to myramcard.colostate.edu to order lunch and dinner for pick-up at Braiden, Durrell, Ram’s Horn, and The Foundry. Breakfast at these locations does not require a pre-order – just grab breakfast to go.

Specials for Move-In, beginning of semester

During Move-In only, residents may also get up to two meals from the dining centers or Grab & Go locations for their guests. Visit housing.colostate.edu/dining/explore for more information about dining in the residence halls this fall.

During the first two weeks of the semester, Residential Dining Services staff will be focused on providing quality service to our students with the new delivery model, and asks that faculty, staff and guests not plan meals in the dining centers. After that time, everyone is welcome to eat in the dining centers, following the online ordering process.

Learn more

Learn more about how to dine on campus by using this helpful roadmap at col.st/BDJ5R.