“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,’ said Piglet at last, ‘what’s the first thing you say to yourself?’ ‘What’s for breakfast?’ said Pooh. ‘What do you say, Piglet?’ ‘I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?’ said Piglet. Pooh nodded thoughtfully. ‘It’s the same thing,’ he said.”
– A. A. Milne, ‘The House at Pooh Corner’
As I write this semester’s introduction to UCuisine I would like to reflect on this past year. For many of us 2020 has been a year full of challenges and hurdles. If you feel like I do, you are looking forward to a time where we celebrate meals together as a community and where we once again join together as we interact with each other in our daily lives on campus. While this semester has been a challenge we could not have made it happen without our foodservice employees who I would like to honor and recognize. These are the employees, that for those students who resided on campus, have been there to make it all happen. Their hard work and dedication matter. We are fortunate to have them all as part of our team. No one individual can prepare all of the meals served in our residential, retail, and catering departments. No one individual can bake the thousands of chocolate chip cookies that literally float out of our bakery on East Campus. It is our committed employees that start work late in the evening preparing muffins, breads, and a cornucopia of desserts. These are the morning crew who are grilling eggs when you are hitting the snooze alarm for the third time. These are the employees, who behind their masks are smiling as they greet you when you purchase your coffee in the morning. These are the full-time employees and student employees who together are a great team of dedicated employees. As mentioned in the quote above by A.A. Milne, these are the individuals who perform the tasks that are there for you, our customers, so that we can have the opportunity to make your day “exciting”.
This year has brought an incredible transformation for Dining as we shifted our services to meet COVID-19 requirements. When campus shut down in March, when some students quickly transitioned to remote learning while others continue to reside on campus, Dining quickly adjusted to a takeout service model much like the grab and go system that was in place prior to COVID-19. We continued to offer our traditional menus that students have come to expect. This spring we are ready and prepared to provide service at South, McMahon, Putnam, Northwest, and Gelfenbien for traditional dining and also have North and Buckley open for those students that have been assigned to a quarantine period. This spring, in order to meet the needs of those students living in East Campus we will be repurposing our mobile food truck, “Food for Thought”, and will be positioning it in the rear of Whitney so students will have access to meals Monday through Friday, lunch, and dinner. Hours and additional information for this service can be obtained from our website.
If you are new to campus or a returning student please remember communication is important to us. If we are not aware of how we are not meeting your expectations it is difficult for us to provide the dining options that you require. Speak up and let us know. When you are in a dining unit bring your concerns to us immediately, not days later. If you have suggestions we are eager to receive feedback through our website. Each semester we meet with representatives from the Resident Area Association Councils and USG Advisory Committee to listen to their concerns and requests. In addition, our dining surveys demonstrate that we are achieving our goals but as my predecessor always said, “you are only as good as your last meal served”, so feel free to contact us and share with us your thoughts.
Lastly, to keep in touch with Dining and the services we offer, please utilize UCuisine. If one is not available, because we will be printing fewer copies than usual to save on paper, you can find all of our information on our website www.dining.uconn.edu. Your dining experience has to be a memorable one while
at UConn or we have failed to meet your expectations.
Eat well, enjoy life, and pursue your dreams,
C. Dennis Pierce
Executive Director of Dining Services
Food allergy or intolerance? Click here for more info.
Stay informed throughout the semester and review our updates and COVID FAQshere.
Flex Passes can be used at the UC Cafes that are open (The Beanery Cafe, Up & Atom Cafe, Bookworms). The meal equivalency of a Flex Pass is $7.00 and can only be used once in a transaction. If you go over you will need to pay with cash (credit card or debit card) or points. There is no limit on the number of times you use a Flex Pass during the day. Flex Passes can still be used to swipe in another UConn student (that has been tested for COVID-19) into the dining halls. You are not able to swipe in another student during campus-wide quarantine periods or into quarantine-only dining halls.
Points can be used during all hours of operation at our retail locations: Union Street Market Food Court outlets, Market Cafe, Mango, The Beanery Cafe, Up & Atom Cafe, Bookworms, Dairy Bar Too, One Plate, Two Plates, Earth, Wok & Fire, and the Food for Thought Food Truck. Points may also be used to purchase guest meals in the dining units.
If you have a dietary request –“Just Ask”
If you are looking for a particular item, and don’t see it-“Just Ask”
If you are vegan or vegetarian and are looking for a different menu option –“Just Ask”
If you are looking for a slight modification to a menu item, “Just Ask: if it is possible, we will do our best to accommodate your request.
If there is anything else, “Just Ask” for a manager and we will be happy to assist.
Eric Merkle, bakery manager in the department of dining services, spoke about the Thanksgiving bake sale held by the University of Connecticut in preparation for the upcoming holiday.
Merkle said they held the sale through a completely online format. In particular, he said they used the dining marketplace on their official website.
“We did the bake sale 100% online this year through the dining marketplace on ourdining.uconn.edupage,” Merkle said.
Merkle said the results of the bake sale were surprising to him as they were better than he expected them to be. He believes this is due to the fact that people are becoming more comfortable withbuying food online.
All dining halls (North, Northwest, South, McMahon, Buckley, Putnam) will be open to all students, except those that have been placed in medical isolation, and have converted to take-out only as of 5 p.m. on Friday, November 13.
Students can continue to access Gelfenbien take-out window and retail* locations. All locations, dining halls and retail, will maintain normal operating hours. Flex passes and points can still be used. Flex passes can be used to swipe in off-campus students.
Fall semester meal plans will end after dinner on Saturday, November 21st.
*Mango, Up & Atom Cafe, Bookworms Cafe, and Dairy Bar Too will be closed and reopening on February 1, 2021.
If you become ill and cannot make it to a dining unit for a meal, you may call the dining facility you normally eat in, ask for the manager on duty, and request a meal “to go.” Please provide the manager with your PeopleSoft number as well as the name of the individual who will be picking up your meal. When the designated person picks up the meal for you, they must swipe in their own card, swipe in the requesting student’s card, and ask for the unit manager to assist with the take-out.
If you were on campus this semester and went to the dining halls and/or our retail locations, check your email for our biannual survey. We appreciate your time and feedback. This brief survey will help us make adjustments for the spring semester.