Dear Parents and Guardians,

As we near the beginning of the spring semester, Dining Services is implementing rigorous safety, sanitation, and service measures to ensure students can dine with us safely across campus.

These measures are based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), health and sanitation experts from our company’s Coronavirus Response Team, local health regulations, and the College’s input:

  • COVID-19-specific training for all dining staff designed by sanitation experts and updated regularly as new issues emerge. Topics covered include proper disinfection, the use of personal protective equipment, physical distancing protocols, and more, and are integrated with food safety and sanitation protocols.
  • COVID-19 testing of dining staff, in conjunction with the College’s campus-wide testing policy.
  • Additional pre-shift wellness screenings for dining employees in alignment with local regulations, which include no-contact temperature scans and daily interview questions.
  • Decision tree and step-by-step action plan for unit managers with employees who are sick or who may have had contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • Employees wear masks at all times.
  • Amped-up cleaning and sanitation schedules with clearly detailed procedures that meet or exceed all local guidelines and national best practices. This includes frequent disinfection of high-touch surfaces.
  • Hand washing stations and no-touch sanitation stations at entrances.
  • Clear physical distancing and wayfinding signage so students feel comfortable moving around in dining halls.
  • Protective infrastructure such as plexiglass barriers at cashier stations, dining tables, and in front of café stations.
  • Shifting from self-service to full-service concepts. Salad and deli bars are being replaced with made-to-order options and/or freshly made, prepackaged meals.
  • Tables moved to create more distance in dining areas, with table-top coasters that indicate when a table top has been cleaned.
  • New operating hours across campus.
  • Contactless ordering and payment at numerous locations via Transact mobile app.

A major concern of ours since the pandemic began has been ensuring that we safely provide meals for students who have tested positive for COVID-19 or are under precautionary quarantine. Working with our College counterparts, we’ve implemented a meal delivery and contactless take-out solution, leveraging the Transact Mobile app, which ensures students who are in College-mandated isolation are provided with food, regardless of their meal plan selection. Students should download this app now if they haven’t done so already.

We’re going to get a bit heavy on details here, but we think a full explanation of this system is important for you as parents (and for Lafayette students) to understand as we get closer to the spring semester.

In the unfortunate event that students test positive for COVID-19, we will enable a new “Isolation Meals” payment method on their Transact app account, which will allow them to order three meals per day. These students will be able to order on the app, indicate their location, and their meal will be delivered to them directly during the designated operating hours. Meals will be delivered outside the isolation building and stored in a covered container.

For students who have been placed under College-mandated quarantine, but who have not tested positive for COVID-19, we ask that they first consider ordering via the app and having a friend pick up meals for them. If this option is unavailable, students may utilize a socially distanced take-out process to pick up meals. This process is designed to minimize contact with others and follows all appropriate health and safety protocols, including limiting the number of students gathering and incorporating socially distant queuing as necessary. Students will place their dining order via the app, wait until they receive a notification that their order is ready, and then pick up their meal. This option will be available at Gilbert’s, ECO Cafe, Simon’s, and Lower, which all have designated pickup tables that are sanitized regularly.

As always, the health and well-being of students is our top priority. While continuously monitoring CDC recommendations, updating our guidance, and regularly communicating with our on-site team, we stand ready to make adjustments as needed to continue safely feeding our community.

While safety is a key priority, it is not our only one. Dining has an important role to play in building culture and community. Our chefs use fresh local and seasonal ingredients that meet our sustainability standards. (We are pleased to mention that Lafayette was recently ranked top 10 for Food and Dining Sustainability by AASHE’s Campus Sustainability Index.)

In addition, your student will continue to find abundant plant-forward, vegetarian, and vegan options as well as ones made without gluten-containing ingredients every day. John Soder, campus executive chef, is pleased to work with any students with food allergies or other dietary restrictions to ensure their needs are met.

Looking ahead to the spring semester, we ask that all students who will need a campus ID immediately begin the photo submission process, which will prevent delays in the spring.

As always, we welcome any questions or feedback.


Christopher Brown, General Manager

John Soder, Campus Executive Chef

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