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Sodexo releases new dining plans

Citing confusion, Sodexo plans to move to simpler, two-tiered dining system.

Temple Dining Services is making changes to meal plans for the Fall 2014 semester after receiving feedback from many students who were confused as to what the plans offered.

The current three-tiered system, consisting of standard, super value and premium plans, will be replaced next semester with only two categories: basic and premium. Nate Quinn, unit marketing coordinator for Dining Services, said the super value plan will be cut.

“Our plans were far too confusing for incoming freshmen and parents,” Quinn said, adding that the super value plan was chosen to be cut because its only advantage over the others was the ability to spend meals on the late-night “fourth meal” period. “It wasn’t delivering on its name: super value.”

In the new system, premium plans will include the option to spend meals at any time of the day, so the super value plan became redundant, Quinn said.

Additionally, he said, students who signed up for the Carte Blanche plan, which gives unlimited access to the Johnson & Hardwick cafeteria but only one meal per period at restaurants, reported being disappointed after their plan was turned away at retail locations.

“We felt the name of the plan was misleading, so we changed it to ‘J&H Unlimited Plus,’” Quinn said.

Students who choose meals on a per-semester basis rather than week-by-week will be able to select more meals in the fall, Quinn said, as dining services will add 75- and 100-meals-per-semester plans, now called meal passes.

Quinn said the changes were also made to attract commuters and upperclassmen to meal plans.

“We’ve had fewer of those groups by virtue of not offering what they wanted,” he said.

According to a flier released by Dining Services, the new basic plans will range from $714 to $1,444 per semester, with the latter price being the minimum plan required for residence hall students. Premium plans will range from $837 to $1,886 per semester.

Quinn said the prices are not yet final, but are expected to be approved by the Board of Trustees soon.

With the changes, Quinn said Dining Services tried to address most student requests, but some popular requests couldn’t be implemented.

“Students would prefer their unused meals to roll over week to week,” Quinn said, but the current system of using student ID cards can’t support it. “It’s a complex issue, but we’re hoping to move toward that option.”

Joseph Gilbride can be reached at joseph.gilbride@temple.edu.

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