Meal Plan Frequently Asked Questions

2020 Fall Quarter Dining FAQs

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


General Meal Plan Questions

Hours & Locations

Food, Nutrition & Special Dietary Needs

Meal Plan Dollars & Cardinal Dollars

Special Circumstances

Grad & Post-Doc Meal Plans

Summer Meal Plans

Other FAQs


General Meal Plan FAQs

Why am I required to purchase a meal plan?
Students living in Branner, Crothers, Florence Moore, Lagunita, Gerhard Casper, Ricker/Sterling Quadrangle, Roble, Stern, Toyon and Wilbur are required by the University to purchase R&DE Stanford Dining Meal Plans.

Mealtimes play a key role in helping to build a sense of community within a house between residents and Resident Fellows (RFs). For this reason, all students living in an undergraduate residence must purchase the meal plan offered by their residence. In most cases, this is a R&DE Stanford Dining Meal Plan.

In the Suites, students are required to belong to student-managed eating clubs that provide meals and plan social events. Student-managed houses (self-ops or co-ops) offer their own required meal plans. Students living in Escondido Village, Lyman, Mirrielees Apartments, Rains or Schwab have private kitchens, and thus no meal plan is required in those residences. Full meal plans, the Apartment Meal Plan or Cardinal Dollars are all popular choices.

R&DE Stanford Dining Meal Plans are billed once each quarter during autumn, winter and spring. You will automatically be enrolled in the 14 meals/week plus Meal Plan Dollars’ plan. 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.

What types of meal plans are available?
Standard Meal Plans
Available to residents of Branner, Stern, Florence Moore, Lagunita, Roble, Wilbur, Gerhard Casper, Crothers, Toyon, and Ricker/Sterling Quadrangle.

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 upperclassmen 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 two weeks of the quarter. Students can switch their Meal Plan in your 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.

Your plan card and privileges are nontransferable; you cannot use your plan to obtain food or drink for others.

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 two weeks of the quarter. When a meal plan change is made, any existing rollover meal(s) you may have in the system are lost. 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?
All meal plans and meal blocks are nontransferable and exclude activities/events which may be separately priced. Meal plans and meal blocks may not be resold under any circumstances.

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 per meal period in the dining halls. Any additional meals during the same meal period must be purchased with Meal Plan Dollars, Cardinal Dollars or credit card.

When are my Meal Plan and Meal Plan Dollars available for use?
The 2020-2021 academic residential dining meal plan schedule is as follows (exact dates will be released soon):

Season Dates
Autumn September 11, 2020 - November 20, 2020
Winter January 2021 - March 2021
Spring March 2021 - June 2021
Summer June 2021 - September 2021

 

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. Carry it with you always!  Remember to bring your card to all meals or be prepared to pay by credit card (Visa or Mastercard accepted). We cannot make exceptions.

Protect your meal plan balances! For your own protection, if you lose your Stanford ID Card, you will want to report it lost as soon as possible. We suggest you report your lost card in person, at the ID Card Office (Tresidder Union, 2nd Floor) where you will be issued a replacement card immediately.

One meal or equivalent meal plan dollars will be deducted from your plan’s weekly meal balance upon each entry into a dining room. 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. By living on campus and participating in the Residential Education experience and the on-campus community, students are a beneficiary of these programs and by default of living on campus in the overall facility administrative expenses. These operating costs are funded by each of the students living in all of the undergraduate residences (except Mirrielees) regardless of its inclusion in a R&DE Stanford Dining meal program. 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.

I am living at Mirrielees. Can I buy a meal plan?
The Apartment Meal Plan is designed for substantial flexibility and convenience for those students living in apartments. Students have five meals per week, plus 150 Meal Plan Dollars, which may be used at all dining halls or designated Stanford Hospitality & Auxiliaries cafés. Students living in apartments may also purchase one of the other R&DE Stanford Dining meal plans

2020-2021 APARTMENT MEAL PLANS

  • Voluntary meal plan offering flexibility and convenience for students living in apartments
  • 5 meals per week plus 150 Meal Plan Dollars
 

Autumn
71 days

Winter
76 days

Spring
74 days

Total
235 days

Apartment Meal Plan

Plus Meal Plan dollars

$695

$50

$621

$50

$605

$50

$1921

$150

I do not have a meal plan. Am I still able to eat in a Dining Hall?
Yes! You may purchase and use Cardinal Dollars or a credit card to buy a meal at any open dining hall.

Walk-ins

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Student (no tax)

$11.00

$17.00

$20.00

Non-Student (includes tax)

$11.00

$17.00

$20.00

*All prices subject to change. Rates listed above are for the 2020/2021 Academic Year.

 

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Hours & Locations

Where are R&DE Stanford Dining and R&DE Stanford Hospitality & Auxiliaries' café and market locations and hours of operation?
R&DE Stanford Dining map and hours of operation
R&DE Stanford Hospitality & Auxiliaries hours of operation

R&DE Stanford Dining reserves the right to modify dining hall service days and/or hours of operation as needed and without prior notification.

Where can I use my meal plan?
Please visit the hours and locations page.

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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. All food is intended for consumption in the dining hall premises. The food you select is to be consumed on the premises and not removed from the dining hall. Plates, trays, glassware and dishware are not to be removed from any of the dining room areas. 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

Do all the dining halls serve the same food?
All dining halls serve a similar menu and augment that with their own specialties. Wilbur for instance, serves wok-tossed items at their Star Ginger station. Stern offers burritos, Latin bowls and other Latin/Mexican specialties such as roasted achiote chicken with chipotle salsa. Florence Moore offers a popular Sunday night Indian menu with delicacies such as chicken tikka masala, naan bread, mango lassi, dal lentils and vindaloo curry. Diners flock to Ricker for their Death by Chocolate cake Tuesdays at lunch and Thursdays at dinner. For a dining hall map and hours, visit hours and locations.

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 work with OAE to obtain housing near Ricker Dining, Stanford’s nut-sensitive dining hall home to the first nut-sensitive dining program in the nation.

In response to a clear need for peanut allergy awareness in university dining services nationwide, R&DE Stanford Dining has made Ricker Dining the first on-campus dining facility in the country to designate itself a peanut-sensitive environment. R&DE Stanford Dining is paving the way for other institutions to follow in our footsteps, and we are proud to be able to meet such a pressing health need of our students.

What about dietary restrictions?
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 offer vegan, vegetarian, halal and allergy-friendly options in all dining halls and Kosher meals at Florence Moore through our Kosher dining program. 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 US$1.00. Purchase any amount of Cardinal Dollars and receive a 10% bonus. With Cardinal Dollars, you can meet friends for lunch at their dining hall, dine at cafes around campus and sample R&DE Stanford Dining's late night eateries.

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 usedMeal Plan Dollars carry over at the end of each quarter and can be used throughout the academic year as long as you are enrolled in a meal plan. All Meal Plan Dollars expire at the end of summer 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 visiting the Meal Plan Customer Service Office on the first floor of Arrillaga Family Dining Commons, 489 Arguello Way, Stanford, CA 94305, by calling the Meal Plan Customer Service line at (650) 723-4751, or by email at diningplans@stanford.edu.

Which retail venues accept my Meal Plan Dollars and Cardinal Dollars?

Venue

Cardinal Dollars

Meal Plan Dollars

Heirlooms

X

X

BBQ 101

X X

Decadence

X

X

Kikka Sushi

X

 

Panda Express

X

 

Subway

X

 

Starbucks

X

 

Forbes Family Café

X

X

The Axe and Palm at Old Union

X

X

Alumni Café

X

X

Olives @ Bldg. 160

X

X

The Market at Munger

X

X

Med Café

X

 

SLAC Café

X  

Law School Café

X  

Go to cardinaldollars.stanford.edu to purchase Cardinal Dollars.


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 at the scheduled meal time?
R&DE Stanford Dining management works diligently to schedule our dining hall hours to accommodate our 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.

Sick meals are available if you are ill and unable to come to a dining unit 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?
If you live in a residence with a required meal plan, 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. 

Depending on where you live, the Office of Accessible Education or Office for Religious Life will submit an exemption request on your behalf to Stanford Dining, a Dining Society manager, or the house staff in Row houses for approval. There may 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) Office for Religious Life religious-life@stanford.edu (for religious exemptions) or Stanford Dining diningplans@stanford.edu.

 

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Grad & Post-Doc Meal Plan FAQs

Can my children eat in the dining halls?
Yes, we welcome grad families! Children 12 and younger eat for free with a paying adult. Children 13 or older are full price.

Are graduates, post-doc students and staff able to dine in all dining halls at all times?
Admission for grad students, post-docs and staff is allowed at Wilbur, AFDC, Stern, Flo Mo, Lakeside and Ricker dining halls. Admission to an undergraduate dining hall is subject to capacity, dorm house events and other restrictions. 

Why would I need Cardinal Dollars if I already bought blocks of meals?
Meal blocks are only for the main meal periods at the dining halls. Cardinal Dollars can be used to purchase meals at any R&DE Stanford Hospitality & Auxiliaries retail café, including The Market at Munger. A 10% bonus is added at the time of purchase. Cardinal Dollars Cardinal Dollars carry over from quarter to quarter, and from year to year. They do not have an expiration date; but will expire after one academic year of inactivity.

What is the alcohol policy in the dining halls?
Alcoholic beverages are prohibited and may not be possessed or consumed in R&DE dining halls, outside seating and patio areas. R&DE staff can deny admission, access or meal service to anyone who is deemed to be overly intoxicated by the Dining management staff.

 

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Summer Meal Plan FAQs

Why am I required to purchase a summer meal plan?
R&DE Stanford Dining will keep Arrillaga Family Dining Commons (AFDC) open during the summer for Stanford students living on campus. There are administrative overhead costs – such as utilities – associated with keeping the space open, and these costs are funded entirely by meal plan fees. Requiring a meal plan ensures enough participation in the dining program to make serving meals – and keeping these important spaces open – financially sustainable.

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. As protocols change, R&DE Stanford Dining will update these FAQs and display information in AFDC notifying students of those updates. For questions related to summer dining and meal plans, please contact diningplans@stanford.edu.

2020 SUMMER MEAL PLANS*

DINING HALL MEAL PLAN 

10 Weeks
 June 20 - September 1, 2020

8 Weeks
June 20 - August 16, 2020

19 meals per week

$2,149

$1,678

14 meals per week

Meal Plan Dollars

$2,149

$145

$1,678

$114

*Summer meal plans begin with dinner service on Saturday, June 20, 2020.

I'm living at Mirrielees this summer. Can I buy a meal plan?
Yes, you may choose one of the summer meal plan options above, but purchasing a meal plan is not required.

I am living on campus this summer and have been granted a religious/medical exemption from the meal plan. Why do I have to pay an administrative overhead fee?
R&DE Stanford Dining keeps at least one dining hall open during the summer for Stanford students living on campus. There are administrative overhead costs – such as utilities – associated with keeping the space open, and these costs are funded entirely by meal plan fees. Requiring a meal plan ensures enough participation in the dining program to make serving meals – and keeping these important spaces open – financially sustainable.

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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 typically granted so long as they do not violate the privacy or property interests of others; and so long as they comply with applicable University policies and procedures, however they must first 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 contacting their residential dining hall manager and submitting a request for approval in writing detailing the class name, faculty member, project name, timeline of project, process (audio or visual recording, interview, photograph, film or video), any data request and interview questions for the dining hall staff. Please allow 3-5 business days for review and response to the initial submission as there may be multiple student requests for information. Please fill out this form to request approval for working on a class project.

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.

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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