Eagle Dining Services serves up new dining plans

Davis Cobb, Correspondent

STATESBORO — In wake of social distancing guidelines and in preparation for the fall semester, Eagle Dining Services has begun to enact new dining plans across Georgia Southern University’s campuses.

The Eagle Gold and Eagle Blue dining plans initially offered to students, which advertised unlimited admission to the dining halls on campus, have been reduced to 19 and 14 admissions a week, respectively, with a maximum of 4 admissions every day. Two new plans, Eagle Five and Eagle Three, offer a reduced rate of five admissions and three admissions a week, respectively, though these plans do not come packaged with Dining Dollars.

Seating in the dining halls has been greatly reduced, allowing only a portion of their maximum volume. To accommodate for this reduced seating, to-go options have been offered at all dining halls since March, encouraging students to take their food home or outside rather than eat in. Students who eat in, however, will be given the same to-go containers, cups and utensils they would receive if they decided to eat out.

“We’ve had to reduce our seating by 75% at all locations–for instance, the Dining Commons used to have 1100 seats; now we have 290 seats–so if we had an all-access plan with people coming in and just hanging out, there would not be enough seating.” Greg Crawford, Director of Residential Dining said. “But we mainly did it for social distancing guidelines from the CDC and our local health department.”

Reaction to the new plans has been generally positive, though there has been some confusion surrounding the updated dining plans. Primarily, it has stemmed from incoming students or parents of students who expected a dining plan similar to those of prior years, but thankfully these confusions were quickly cleared up.

Retail food services on campus, such as Starbucks and Chick-Fil-A, have also updated their service plans, requiring guests to order to-go. Students and faculty are also able to take advantage of Georgia Southern’s partnership with Starship to have food from any retail food service on campus delivered to them, so long as they have the associated app. Eagle Dining Services is offering their own app, GATA-Go, to allow guests to order their food ahead and come pick it up.

“We’re learning, just like everyone else coming back to school this semester.” Crawford said. “I would encourage anybody that’s on the dining plan and has any ideas or suggestions how we can maybe either do things better, or do things faster–things they would like to see–to reach out to us at Eagle Dining Services and let us know, because as things progress and as the semester progresses and changes, we’d like to make sure everybody’s being taken care of.”