Aerial photograph of the Immaculate Conception Chapel

UD Dining Services - Frequently Asked Questions

For the Flexible Plan, there is a $1,600 ($800 per semester) plan participation charge. What is this?
Prior to 2000, UD dining offered an Any 10, 12, 15, 19 and 21 Meal Plan.  In 2000, students and SGA requested a debit plan program.  In college dining, the "any whatever" plans cover operating costs because historically college students on these types of plans don't eat every meal.  Unused meals cover operating costs. For a debit program however, the retail prices are not high enough to cover all operating costs so additional funds are needed.  The plan participation charge for $1,600 per year represents these additional funds to balance the UD dining operating budget.  Some refer to it as a fee, some call it a charge; some colleges call it a program assessment.
What do students typically select for a meal plan?
Since its inception, the debit plan program at UD has been the most popular meal plan.  For the 2012 Fall Term, 92% of the meal plan customers selected a debit plan.  There are a variety of reasons why the flexible debit plan was selected.  In studying meal plans for 20 years, convenience often times out weighs everything.  Our research says missing meals daily when using a Standard Plan is a source of irritation to meal plan customers.
What are the advantages & disadvantages of the Standard Plan?
The Standard Plan is a "use it or lose it" system and the better value if you use all three meals per day up to the individual meal spending level.  Historically, many students skip breakfast.  The meal periods for the Standard Plan run on a clock and one must adapt to the meal times.  A student's class schedule and extracurricular activities may interfere with scheduled meal times.
What are the advantages & disadvantages of the Flexible Plan?
The Flexible Plan offers less buying power than the Standard Plan.  $3,000 ($1,500 per semester) of the total cost of $4,600 will be set up as a debit account.  The balance of $1,600 ($800 per semester) is applied to Dining Services operating budget.  For some, $3000 or $1,500 per semester is not enough money.  For others, it is sufficient and students like the flexibility.  Many students have personal debit cards and the Flexible Plan operates the same way.
Many Colleges have All-You-Care-To-Eat dining halls; why doesn't UD dining have one?
Our dining facility in Virginia Kettering opened as a AYCTE dining hall many years ago.  It was popular of a while but over time, the numbers got smaller and smaller.  Student focus group conversations revealed perceived quality issues and the data pointed out that the meal plan customers dined more often in our ala carte operations than the Virginia Kettering AYCTE buffet.  In addition, carryout had become very popular on the UD campus and offering carryout in a AYCTE location was challenging.  When Marycrest was closed in 2008 for a major remodel, UD dining converted VWK to an ala carte operation as a temporary substitute for the closed Marycrest.  Customer feedback for the new Virginia Kettering was very positive and the Virginia Kettering was crowded for the first time in years.  In 2012, Virginia Kettering was converted into two restaurants: Passports and The Grainary.
Why are students in a residence hall required to have a meal plan?
Our traditional residence halls, which house over 2,900 students do not have fully-equipped kitchens for individual use on a daily basis.  A meal plan requirement associated with a residence hall is considered best practices for most colleges and universities in the US.
Where can meal plans be used?
The Standard and the Flexible Plan can be used at all UD dining facilities.  UD dining operates two food courts, two restaurants, one convenience store with a deli, one smaller convenience store without a a deli, one gourmet pretzel/coffee/ice cream shoppe and one juice bar in the University's recreation complex.  The Standard and the Flexible Plan cannot be used at two student managed coffee shops located in the library and the School of Business and the cafe' located in the south student neighborhood.
Is The Emporium a grocery store?
The Emporium is a convenience store with a deli.  The store offers grocery items, snacks, frozen foods and local favorites.  Pricing is comparable to a convenience store which is typically 25%-30% higher than a grocery store.
Can I change my meal plan?
A meal plan customer may change his/her meal plan selection through the first three weeks of the term. This change can take place by calling the dining services office at 937-229-2441 or stop by the dining services office located in Room 201 of the Powerhouse building.
If I don't use my Flexible Plan, where does the money go?
At the end of the fall term, any money left on the Flexible Plan is rolled over to the spring term.  A student is still required to purchase a meal plan for the spring term regardless of rollover dollars.  At the end of the spring term, 50% of any remaining balance, up to $300, will be rolled over to the fall term.  The spring term rollover practice is evaluated annually.  Most colleges and universities do not have rollover practices from one academic year to another.
The plan participation charge for $1600 ($800 per semester) seems so high. Why is that?
Our philosophy in UD dining is to provide as many options as the University can afford for our required meal plan customers.  Our priority is guest satisfaction.  We have culinary trained chefs in our three (3) main locations and our operations are open for 13-18 hours per day.  We offer a lot of variety on any given day.  This requires a large staff and the staff values the opportunity to serve the students of the University of Dayton.  UD dining strives to generate an annual surplus for current and future capital needs.  UD dining is a self-operated food service provider.
How do I access my meal plan and when does the meal plan start?
Your selected meal plan will be loaded on your UD identification card call the FlyerCard.  You should start using it the first day of the term.  Every time you make a purchase in our dining facilities, you will present your FlyerCard to the cashier.