New rules when it comes to food

There will be reduced indoor capacity, an outdoor seating area and mobile-ordering for the fall semester

Emily Flamme, News Editor

COVID-19 has created unique challenges for dining, so at Quinnipiac University there will be many differences for on-campus dining during the fall 2020 semester, including reduced capacity for indoor spaces, an outdoor tented dining area and grab-and-go options. 

Chef-inspired menus with fresh, healthy, and sustainable options will continue, but there will be modified hours and new practices for safe serving, physical distancing and more frequent enhanced cleaning,” said Chuck Couture, resident district manager of Quinnipiac Dining. 

Measures in compliance with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines will be in place. There will be marked pathways with signs that guide students throughout the dining hall. Face coverings are required in the dining areas except when students are eating and drinking. There are also plexiglass barriers between the employees and customers. The dining halls will close twice a day for 30 minutes for sanitation. On weekdays, the dining halls will close for cleaning from 10:15 to 10:45 a.m. and 2:30 to 3 p.m. On the weekends they will close from 2 to 2:30 p.m. 

Lauren Hamilton, a sophomore law and society major, said the guidelines will only work if students are serious about them. 

“I fully believe that the only way for students to follow the rules is to remind them that if we don’t all try to work together then we will be sent home,” Hamilton said. 

The capacity of the halls is reduced to approximately 33% to encourage social distancing. With that in mind, Quinnipiac Dining is working on creating an outdoor tent space where students can sit and eat. The pub on York Hill will also be used for additional seating since Connecticut guidelines state that bars cannot open as of right now.

Connor Lawless

To help account for the reduced amount of people in the dining halls, grab-and-go options will be available. 

“Just as we have become accustomed to more frequent take-out dining at home, Quinnipiac Dining will offer Boost online ordering for all venues,” Couture said. 

 Boost, an app which was introduced in the spring 2020 semester and was only available for Starbucks and Au Bon Pain, will be accessible for all dining options so students can browse the menus, customize their orders and pick it up according to their schedule. 

Starbucks, Au Bon Pain, Revolution Noodle Sushi and the Bobcat Den will be limited to mobile orders to help with social distancing. 

“There will also be an option to order convenience store items through Boost for pickup from the Bobcat Den and York hill dining halls,” Couture said. 

Hamilton said that utilizing Boost for dining this semester is a smart decision, but she has some concerns about it.

“When Boost launched last semester with Starbucks, the wait for lines for orders were incredibly long and in some cases, the app didn’t even receive the order,” Hamilton said. “I hope that with the new ordering system they can address the issue.”

CDC guidelines do not allow self-serve items, so vegetable salads, fruit salads and parfaits will be pre-packaged for students to easily take from the cafe. The Chobani yogurt bar will be available as a breakfast option at Bowl Life. 

The dining hall employees are hired by Chartwells, a company separate from Quinnipiac, so its policies and guidelines slightly differ. While students and faculty will regularly be tested throughout the semester, Quinnipiac dining employees will complete wellness check-ins as well as temperature checks before each shift. 

“If any associate exhibits any of the known symptoms, we do not allow them to work that day and recommend that they get tested for COVID-19,” Couture said. 

Hamilton said although the semester will look different, it’s an adjustment students will be able to make. 

“I think students will follow the rules for the most part,” Hamilton said. “It’s a group effort and if we mess up as a student body, then we suffer the consequences and are sent home, and I think we can all agree we want to make it to the spring semester.”