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									                    ISU Dining Service Policy
       The Iowa State University Dining Service is taking advantage of ISU students’

meal plans. What happens when students can’t make a meal? The students are penalized!

Students who purchase meal plans and are not able to make a specific meal are currently

losing that meal and thus losing money. Changing the dining policy to allow students to

use their meals at any time during the week would benefit the students eating habits and

allow students to eat at any time without losing meals or money. All of these adjustments

can be done with minimal change and cost.

       The ISU Dining Services begins with students purchasing one of the five

university plans:

Plan                          Number of         Meals          Price
                              meals             Available

A                             20                BLD Mon-       $989
                                                Sat; BL Sun

B                             15                BLD Mon-       $952

C                             12                LD Mon-Sat     $965

D                             10                LD Mon-Fri     $921

K                             5                 Either B,Lor   $465
                                                D Mon-Fri

B-Breakfast; L-Lunch; D-Dinner (Figure 2.84)

The dining service also has a policy for snack meals. For breakfast, Monday - Friday,

students can pack a bag with breakfast. For noon or evening meals, every day of the

week, they can pack a brown bag with a choice of cold sandwiches, salads, chips, fruits,

Alisa Woofter                               1                              Ewald 105H12
vegetables and a few other choices. The students must go to the dining services before

9:30 on the day of the meal they are going to miss and pack this bag.

       Students are only allowed to eat the specified meals for each plan. When the

student cannot make a meal they lose that meal. Each time a student eats one of their

meals; their ISU card is swiped. The computer then subtracts off that exact meal from

your account. This process prevents students from eating twice. For example, when a

student eats lunch on Wednesday and has their card swiped, the computer reads that this

student ate Wednesday's lunch and will not allow them to eat again until the next meal

they are allowed to eat.

       The prices of the meal plans are figured by considering food costs, labor, supplies

and a percentage of missed meals by students. (3) The service also determines the

amount of food to prepare by observing the food consumption. The food service

managers observe food consumption of the previous eight weeks to determine the amount

of food to prepare each week.(2) Currently each student also receives 50 Dining Dollars

to their ISU card account. The $50 can be used at any ISU C-Store or be used to

purchase an extra meal for a friend.

       The Iowa State University Dining Service policy should be changed. Students

should be able to utilize all meal they purchase. Each plan should consist of a certain

number of meals. This number can correspond to the current amount of meals as stated

above in the chart (Figure 2.84). Students should not be limited to specific times or

meals to be used. This problem is supposedly addressed in the current plan, although it

isn't a worthy solution. Students do have the option of pre-packing a bag for a meal that

Alisa Woofter                                2                              Ewald 105H12
they are going to miss. This is not a substitute for a hot meal. Students have to eat a

sandwich and do not have the option of three choices like normal dining service does.

Students have to know ahead of time that they will miss one of the day's meals. Also,

students have to get the sack meal before 9:30 that day, which adds to the problem of

having early classes during that time. The major problem with sack meals is that students

find it easier and tastier to buy a quick meal from the Memorial Union food services than

to plan ahead and carry around a dry cold sandwich in a brown paper bag all day.

       This policy will not require any change in the students' ISU cards. The computer

will read the current student cards. The computer system will have to be changed slightly.

It will read only the total number of meals each student has and has used. For example, a

student who has a 12 meals per week plan eats lunch on Monday. One meal is then

subtracted from the student's account. The student will then be allowed to eat 11 more

time that week, at his or her discretion, not the Dining Service's.   Although, after each

week the students meal plan will be cleared and the meals for next week will be

activated. This will allow students who have not used their meals for that week to go to

the cafeteria and utilize the snack meal policy. Possibly they would like to get juice or

chips for their room. Whatever they choose, they paid for that meal. Each student will

still receive fifty Dining Dollars, which can be used exactly the way they are currently

being used. The amount of food produced will not be affected in this change. The eight-

week observation interval will work just the same. The prices of each meal plan will

have to be raised by a five-dollar amount to reflect the costs of students utilizing more of

their meals. The Dining Service employees’ responsibilities will only change slightly.

The employee who swipes each students card will need to look at the picture to see if it is

Alisa Woofter                                 3                               Ewald 105H12
the student using the card. This policy is simple and taken for granted currently. This

will eliminate students, family, friends or any other person who does not have a meal

plan from eating on a current meal plan owner’s card with the discounted student rate that

ISU students receive. These people can still eat, but must purchase a meal by using the

friends Dining Dollars or by cash.

       This policy will benefit the students and ease the complications of the computer

system. It will not cause loss to the university only cause adjustments by employees.

Under this policy students will be able to utilize their meal plans. They will not be

paying for meals they aren’t able to use. Students’ schedules vary tremendously and this

plan will give them a better opportunity to get in a healthy meal and make the most of

their money spent on food service.

       The dining service computer system will need to be reprogrammed to only read

total amount of meals used. This will not be a complicated change, since the program

actually does that now. ISU dining service will not lose any profits. If each meal plan is

increased by $5 the service will bring in more than enough revenue to make up for the

missed meals that were figured in with the other plan, and the costs of changing the


       The ISU dining service policy should be changed. The first step in changing this

policy will be to have this policy approved by the various student and faculty

organizations around campus. New policies have to be approved by the Government of

Student Body and the Dining Service officials. The next step will be to change the

computer system, notify all managers, employees, and students of the change with simple

Alisa Woofter                                4                              Ewald 105H12
memos. These actions are a great start to a simple change that will give students a fair

meal plan.

Alisa Woofter                                5                              Ewald 105H12

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