2020 Fall Quarter Dining FAQs

For more information about R&DE's COVID-19 precautions please visit dining.stanford.edu/rde-covid-19-faqs.

General Meal Plan FAQs

Food, Nutrition & Special Dietary Needs

Meal Plan Dollars & Cardinal Dollars

Special Circumstances

Other Frequently Asked Questions

General Meal Plan FAQs

If I can’t eat with my friends why am I still required to be on a dining plan?
A dining plan will enable you to have safe and easy access to food, delivery of meals should you become ill or quarantined, and access to the campus nutritionist should you have special dietary needs.

I have a dining plan. With the quarter shorter this fall, will I get a discount on my plan?
The meal plan price has been adjusted to the number of days that meals are available this quarter. 

What types of meal plans are available?
R&DE Stanford Dining offers the following meal plan options:
19 Meals per Week
14 Meal per Week + 420 Meal Plan Dollars per year
10 Meals per Week + 750 Meal Plan Dollars per year (available to upperclass students only)

ALL undergraduate students will be assigned the 14 meals/week plus Meal Plan Dollars plan. Students will be allowed to switch Meal Plans based on their class up until the last four weeks of the quarter. Students can switch their Meal Plan in their Axess account online or by contacting the Meal Plan Customer Service Office by email at diningplans@stanford.edu (include your name and SUID number) 

Freshmen Meal Plan Options
Freshmen will be assigned 14 meals/week plus Meal Plan Dollars and have the option to change to 19 meals/week.

Upperclassmen (sophomores, juniors & seniors) Meal Plan Options
Upperclassmen will be assigned 14 meals/week plus Meal Plan Dollars and have the option to change to 19 meals/week or 10 meals/week plus Meal Plan Dollars.

For more information, about meal plans, choices, and rates, please visit our Meal Plan page.

Who do I contact to change my meal plan?
Online meal plan changes can be made up until the last two weeks of the quarter. To change your meal plan, you can email the Meal Plan Customer Service Office at diningplans@stanford.edu (include your name, SUID number).

Students can also change their meal plan by logging into their account using the My Account option on this website.

Can I change my meal plan at any time? What happens to my meals and my Meal Plan Dollars when I do?
You may change your meal plan online up until the last four weeks of the quarter. Meal plan changes are prorated on a daily basis. For plans with meal plan dollars, the used amount of your old plan will be charged, and you’ll be charged the minimum required amount for participating in your new plan. There is no administrative fee for changing meal plans. You are required to pay for the meal plan for which you are billed, within the specified time, even if you later change your meal plan. Separate charges or credits resulting from such changes will appear on your statement after each change.

Are meal plans transferable?
Meal plans and meal blocks may not be resold under any circumstances. Your plan card and privileges are nontransferable; you cannot use your plan to obtain food or drink for others.

What day does my meal plan cycle start and end each week?
The weekly cycle starts with Sunday brunch and ends with Saturday dinner each week. Your meal plan weekly meal balances are reset on Saturday after dinner.

Can I use more than one meal swipe per meal period?
You may only use one meal swipe per meal period in your designated dining hall.  

Do I need my Stanford ID card to eat and what do I do if I lose my Stanford ID Card?
Your Stanford ID Card is also your dining card and is required to gain entry to the Dining Hall. Remember to bring your card to all meals. We cannot make exceptions.

One meal or equivalent meal plan dollars will be deducted from your plan’s weekly meal balance upon each entry into a dining hall. Without exception, meal plan members are required to present a valid card to gain entrance. R&DE Stanford Dining reserves the right to have an employee inspect ID cards at any time and to request other appropriate identification.

I was exempt from the meal plan, why do I have to pay an administrative overhead fee?
Contributing to the administrative cost of running the entire dining hall operation that are separate from food include items such as maintenance and facility renovations, utilities relating to keeping the dining halls open as dining and student study space, debt service for renovations, building maintenance and grounds upkeep, management and administrative functions and university general support administration. These expenses exist regardless of whether a student eats any meals in the dining halls. The cost of food is minimal in comparison to labor, the largest cost and essentially a fixed expense due to the extensive hours of operation. R&DE Stanford Dining is a university department, but it does not receive a funding offset from the university for the overhead of a meal plan or an exempted meal plan student.


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Food, Nutrition & Special Dietary Needs

Are the meals really all-you-care-to-eat?
Due to the Santa Clara County COVID-19 protocols and requirements for operating foodservice locations, all meals are served pre-packed and for to-go only. Students are provided one bag to fill with the various food options available. Please take only what you can reasonably eat at each meal. Tupperware, Ziploc bags and all other to-go containers are not allowed in the dining halls. R&DE Stanford Dining reserves the right to inspect any packages, coats, bags, purses, etc., brought into the dining areas. Students apprehended for allowing another person to use their meal card, or any other attempt to defraud can be subject to Stanford University’s judicial system.

Conditions of Meal Servings Policy
The meal plan program features unlimited servings of all meals eaten in the residential meal plan dining rooms. It is your responsibility to take only what you can reasonably eat at each meal (All You Care to Eat policy). R&DE Stanford Dining reserves the right to limit the number of servings at special event meals. R&DE Stanford Dining reserves the right to inspect any packages, coats, bags, purses, etc., brought into the dining areas. Meal plan students apprehended for theft of food or property, allowing another person to use their meal card, or any other attempt to defraud can be subject to Stanford University’s judicial system.

I have a food allergy. What can R&DE Stanford Dining do to help me?
R&DE Stanford Dining offers a variety of accommodations for students with food allergies and specialized dietary requirements through the Food Allergies @Stanford program. We have a dedicated Food Allergy Program Nutritionist to support hundreds of Stanford students, staff and guests with food allergies and special dietary needs. As the prevalence of food allergies and other dietary needs continues to grow on campus, our nutritionists work closely with the Office of Accessible Education (OAE)  to ensure that the university is adequately accommodating students with medically documented dietary needs as outlined by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Students with medically diagnosed peanut and tree-nut allergies can choose to eat at Stern Dining hall, which has been designated as Stanford Dining's nut-free location for fall quarter 2020..

Will Kosher meals still be available?
Kosher to-go meals for lunch and dinner will be available for pick-up 7 days a week at Arrillaga Family Dining Commons. For more information on Kosher Dining, please visit https://rde.stanford.edu/dining/glatt-kosher-dining-program.

Will Halal options still be available?
All chicken served in the dining halls is certified halal and halal beef is also available on a rotating basis. We do not cook with alcohol in any of our recipes and we are conscious to avoid cross-contact of pork products during food production. For more information on Halal Dining, please visit https://rde.stanford.edu/dining/eat-well-stanford#halal.

I have special dietary needs, will I still be able to get meals that meet my requirements?
R&DE Stanford Dining prides itself on providing high-quality and nutritious cuisine to meet the wide variety of dietary needs within our diverse Stanford community. We will continue to offer food options for students with food allergies or religious dietary needs (e.g. kosher, halal). However, students with highly specific or complex needs should consult with the Stanford Dining nutritionist as soon as possible to learn more about what accommodations are available, and whether these will meet their needs. Students can email nutritionist@stanford.edu or schedule a virtual consultation online
For more information please visit Eat Well @Stanford.


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Meal Plan Dollars & Cardinal Dollars

Meal Plan Dollars and Cardinal Dollars: What’s the difference?
Cardinal Dollars allow you to increase dining flexibility within meal plans by providing dining facility choices outside of your residence. Adding Cardinal Dollars to your Stanford ID card eliminates the need to carry cash and provides you with the security and convenience of a card. One Cardinal Dollar is equal to $1.00. Purchase any amount of Cardinal Dollars and receive a 10% bonus. 

Meal Plan Dollars 
Purchased ONLY within the context of a meal plan, all Meal Plan Dollars can be used in residential dining halls as well as select R&DE Stanford Hospitality & Auxiliaries cafés. Click here for the complete list where Meal Plan Dollars may be used. All Meal Plan Dollars expire at the end of the quarter. 

Cardinal Dollars 
Purchased in addition to a meal plan or separately throughout the year, Cardinal Dollars can be used in all the same ways as Meal Plan Dollars. Click here for the complete list where Cardinal Dollars may be used. Enrolled students can purchase Cardinal Dollars by logging in to their account using the Manage Your Account option on this website (under the "Students" header). On-line orders are charged to your University bill. Students can also submit an order via email. Send the email from your SUNet account to diningplans@stanford.edu. Be sure to include your SUID number and how much you wish to purchase. Email orders are billed to your University bill.

Anyone may purchase Cardinal Dollars with a credit card at the Cardinal Dollars page online or by email at diningplans@stanford.edu.

Can I buy gift cards with my Meal Plan Dollars?
No, Meal Plan Dollars can only be used at residential dining halls and select R&DE Stanford Hospitality & Auxiliary Cafes.

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Special Circumstances

What if I am sick or I can’t come to the dining hall during meal time?
R&DE Stanford Dining management works diligently to schedule our dining hall hours to accommodate students’ varied schedules. In response to COVID-19 protocols, all meals in the dining halls are now offered to-go, allowing for more flexibility to take your meal with you.

Isolation and Quarantine meals are available if you are ill and/or unable to come to a dining hall for a scheduled meal. To coordinate a sick meal delivery, please reach out to your Residence Dean who will coordinate with R&DE Stanford Dining to meet your needs.

How do I get a meal plan exemption?
You may request an exemption if there are concerns about meeting medical or religious dietary requirements. Exemptions are granted only for serious medical issues/disabilities or religious reasons. 

The Office of Accessible Education or Office for Religious Life will submit an exemption request on your behalf to Stanford Dining approval. There will be a fee associated with such an exemption. Please verify your eligibility for an exemption prior to applying for a residence. Questions regarding this policy should be addressed to the Office of Accessible Education oae-contactus@stanford.edu (for medical exemptions) or Office for Religious Life religious-life@stanford.edu (for religious exemptions).


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Other Frequently Asked Questions

Can I post a flyer/poster, eblast, etc. with the R&DE Stanford Dining name or logo on it?
We do not allow flyers, posters, etc. to be posted or distributed with the R&DE Stanford Dining name, logo or use of the name of any Dining Hall without the prior written consent by the Executive Director of R&DE Stanford Dining. Any fliers, posters, marketing materials, etc. that are found to contain this information will be removed without prior notice.

What is the process for requesting approval for working on a class project?
Stanford students working on Stanford University approved class assignments or class projects and that are related to residential dining hall operations are reviewed for approval and and must gain the express written approval by the Executive Director of R&DE Stanford Dining before proceeding. Under no circumstances can the audio or visual recording, interview, photograph, film or video, or any information provided by R&DE staff or gained through additional access in the residential dining halls in the course of working on an approved class project, be used for commercial or other purposes. Students can request this approval by filling out this form and submitting to diningprojects@stanford.edu. Please allow 3-5 business days for review and response to the initial submission as there may be multiple student requests for information.

Is it generally possible to host political or religious events in the R&DE Stanford Dining Hall?
R&DE Stanford Dining does not take political nor religious positions and does not co-sponsor nor advertise these types of events. During COVID-19, events will not be permitted in the dining halls.

Can students or student groups post information on the student community boards?
We encourage students or student groups to post comments, flyers, photos, etc. on the bulletin boards. But please be respectful. We may monitor and remove inappropriate, offensive or any other postings at any time without notice.

Will R&DE Stanford Dining sponsor our group's event fundraiser for a good cause?
With over 600 student groups on campus, we could not possibly support all of the important and worthy student initiatives on campus. Our funding comes only from meal plan students and we need to be fiscally responsible to maintain the integrity of the dining hall meal program. Since the student meal plan is the only source of revenue for R&DE Stanford Dining to offset the operating expenses of running the dining halls, it is used to support dining hall activities and programs. We are unable to allow meal plan dollars to be used for purposes other than the direct relationship to the function of the dining halls.


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