Operations

Due to unprecedented staffing shortages in all locations on campus, Dining Services has made the decision to close some locations and make several changes to hours of operation in order to consolidate staffing to our essential locations and alleviate these operational setbacks. Below you will find many of the frequently asked questions regarding our current operations, the special meal plan change period, and information on Grubhub and food trucks. This FAQ will be updated with new information as it becomes available. Updated 10/5/21.

With Danforth closing, what dining halls are still open?

Douglass Dining Center is open and is being extended to 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We are extending dinner in Douglass to 9 pm Monday-Thursday and 8 pm Friday-Sunday. We are also opening Douglass To-Go where students can order a to-go meal through Grubhub and pick it up in The Genesee Room (attached to Douglass Dining Center). This meal can be paid for using a swipe or declining balance. This option will also be available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner 7 days a week.

Additional seating is available at Danforth Dining Center (Monday – Thursday from 11am – 7pm, Friday from 11am-2pm) and the Feldman Ballroom Section D in Douglass (Monday – Thursday from 7am-10pm).

Where can students eat breakfast?

Douglass is open for breakfast 7 days a week (7 am-10:30 am, Monday-Friday; 8 am-10:30 am, Saturday & Sunday). The new Douglass To-Go option will also provide breakfast 7 days a week. Grab & Go opens at 8 am for breakfast Monday – Friday. For retail options, Connections and Starbucks are open at 7 am and 7:30 am, respectively.

Where can students still use their swipe meals?

Swipes can be used at Douglass, Douglass To-Go, Grab & Go, Eastman Dining Center and The Pit. We have extended the hours of Grab & Go until 9 pm (previously 3 pm). Students can use up to 3 swipes per day in Grab & Go. We will also allow swipes in The Pit/Rocky’s earlier, beginning at 3:30 pm (previously 5 pm) Monday-Friday. Swipes can be used all day at The Pit/Rocky’s on Saturdays and Sundays. To assist students on the 150 Pass Plan, we have reset their available swipes to 150, effective today, 9/28/21.

For students with dietary restrictions and food allergies, what are their options?

Douglass Dining Center will have the following options:

  • Kosher Station will be made without peanuts/tree nuts and dairy free, in addition to Kosher
  • Our Free Station is free of the top 8 allergens (Fish, Shellfish, Soy, Wheat, Dairy, Egg, Peanut, Tree Nut).  Also includes no sesame, no gluten. Free Station will also include a vegan option with expanded offerings of gluten-free grains, beans and legumes.
  • Vegan/Vegetarian options will be offered on the menu throughout the location.
  • Douglass Dining Center is also the home of our Gluten-Free Pantry, which contains prepackaged gluten free items. Access to the pantry can be requested by emailing RCNutrition@services.rochester.edu.
  • Hillside Market offers a wide variety of convenience and grocery items for guests with dietary restrictions and food allergies.

Students with food allergies and dietary restrictions are encouraged to reach out to our Campus Dietician at RCNutrition@services.rochester.edu for any assistance needed.

How can students and parents be assured that food quality and preparation hasn’t suffered during the staffing crisis?

Our purchasing strategy has not changed at all during this pandemic. Our base strategy relies heavily on our local partners and those relationships have only strengthened during these difficult times.  Consolidating the operations will allow our Chefs to cover more ground to ensure that all of our standards are upheld and maintained across all locations and stations.

With Danforth closing, won’t the lines at Douglass be frustrating? What is being done to get students through the lines?

The consolidation of operations will allow us to make sure that all stations are fully staffed. Our menus and staffing levels are designed to maximize efficiency and allow us to serve our customers quickly. We have also added staff in all other operations to improve the speed of service.

What is the plan for Dining Services to return to normal operations?

The timeline to return to normal operations is tied entirely to our ability to hire new employees. We will evaluate each operation as we work to hire new staff. We are continuing to hire additional student employees while working with University Human Resources personnel and multiple temporary employee and placement agencies.


Meal Plan Change Period

Meal Plan Change Period: A special change period will be available from 9/30 – 10/4 to allow students to make any meal plan change within the parameters described on the form. First year students will have the additional option of choosing an Option A Declining Balance Plan. There will be no $25 fee charged during this change period. *Due to the high number of change requests, the changes will be processed within 7-10 days from the deadline.

What amount of declining balance will students receive if they switch from an unlimited plan to the Option A Declining Plan?

The amount of declining balance in the Option A plan will be prorated. We will be issuing refunds for the unlimited portion of the meal plans that students are changing from based on the day the change is processed, and then billing the prorated amount of the new declining plan. The approximate amount of declining dollars that students will receive is $1,625. This amount can vary, by up to $200, based on the plan the student is moving from and how much of their declining they have already used.

Will this change carry into the spring semester?

Yes, students that change their meal plan now will begin the spring semester with the plan that they changed to. Any remaining declining balance from the fall semester will roll over to the spring.

Can a student change their meal plan back to their original plan for the spring?

Yes, there will be an opportunity for students to change their meal plan for the spring semester should they desire. The dates will be communicated to students prior to the determined change period.

Food Trucks and Grubhub can be expensive, will an Option A Declining Plan last the entire semester?

Food Trucks and Grubhub are meant to supplement the student dining experience, not replace it. We will continue to monitor declining spend to see if there will be problems and as needed will work on solutions. We have many students on Option A Declining Plans every year, and it seems to be a satisfactory amount for most students.


20 Percent Refund

As announced on Oct. 1, 2021, University Dining Services is providing all students currently enrolled in a meal plan a 20 percent refund of the full cost. These refunds will be processed before the end of October through UR Student and will be credited to each student's bursar account.

How much will the refund be?

Meal Plan and Refund Amount

150 Pass Plan: $670

Blue Unlimited: $670

Commuter Declining Balance: $80

ECD (ESM commuter): $140

Meliora Unlimited: $690

Option A: $670

Option B: $616

Option C: $525

Option D: $250

Will this refund have any impact on my meal plan?

No. The refund does not affect the amount of declining dollars or swipes that are part of the plan you bought.  In other words, you can still use 100% of your plan even though we’re giving you a 20% refund.

Is it possible to instead receive a check?

No. UR Student is the student finance system managed through the Bursar’s Office by which all meal plan payments and refunds are administered.

What if as a student I recently changed my meal plan during the change period—how will the refund work?

The refund will be based on the meal plan that the student has at the time the refund is processed.

What if at the end of October I don’t see the refund through UR Student?

For answers to any questions concerning meal plans, please call (585) 275-3975 or (585) 275-8756, or email mealplans@services.rochester.edu.

What about the spring semester meal plans?

Since this is a very fluid situation, we will re-evaluate dining operations and spring meal plans later in the semester.


Grubhub/Food Truck options

Can you explain how the Grubhub and food truck options will work for students?

Food trucks and Grubhub are meant to supplement the student dining experience, not replace it. The Grubhub off-campus option extends to all restaurants on the app. Douglass will remain open and we are extending the hours until 9 pm. While we needed to close Danforth at the end of the day Sept. 27, we will work to reopen stations in this facility as soon as possible. We will open a Grubhub option for Douglass, expanding the service options for that facility. The Pit will remain open from 11 am until 10 pm. Grab & Go will be open until 9 pm and there are sandwich and salad options available in Hillside, Connections and Starbucks.

How can students use their declining at off-campus restaurants?

Students can download the Grubhub app and link their meal plan by choosing the University of Rochester as their campus location. Students will be able to pay for orders at off-campus restaurants for pick up or delivery. Additionally, students can join Grubhub+ when they open their UR account. Grubhub+ includes free delivery. Grubhub fees, taxes, and tips determined by off-campus restaurants will apply and are paid by the student with their declining.

What if I have trouble with the app and accessing my UR account?

The quickest way to get help is by going to Grubhub directly. There is a help function on the app under the Account tab. If that doesn’t work or you are having trouble setting up the app, please email us at rcdining@services.rochester.edu.

How long will the Grubhub off-campus option be allowed?

This arrangement is not meant to be a permanent part of the meal plan and will only last as long as necessary to supplement student options during this staffing crisis.

How can students purchase food from the food trucks being brought on campus?

Students will need to purchase tickets using their declining balance. Tickets can then be exchanged at the food truck for the predetermined meal deal, which will offer an entrée, side, and beverage. Please note tickets can only be used for the specific food truck and date as stated on the ticket. Information on where to purchase tickets and pricing will be released the week of Sept. 27. Our food truck calendar will be posted on our website. The calendar begins on October 4.

How can I ask a question?

Questions about meal plans can be directed to mealplans@services.rochester.edu

Questions regarding food options, nutrition and special diets can be directed to rcnutrition@services.rochester.edu.

Both accounts are actively monitored and responses provided with 48 hours.