Dining Updates

Dining Services FAQS

When will Kent State begin managing dining operations?
Beginning July 1, 2021, Kent State will manage dining operations on all of our campuses, including the College of Podiatric Medicine.

 

Why is Kent State bringing dining services in-house?
Bringing management and implementation of dining services in-house allows us to continue enhancing the experience for our university community.

 

Who will lead the in-house dining services team?
University Dining Services will continue to report to the Division of Student Affairs. Gary Goldberg, Kent State’s assistant vice president for Student Engagement and Services, will continue providing leadership for dining services and will also lead a team of students, faculty and staff who will shepherd the transition process from Aramark to an in-house dining program.

 

How long has Aramark managed and implemented dining services at Kent State?
Four years. The contract with Aramark began in 2017 and will end June 30, 2021.

 

Why did Kent State start working with Aramark in 2017?
In 2017, Kent State University released a competitive bid process for a strategic partner to manage dining services. Aramark was selected through this process because of their ability to align with our dining needs at that time.

 

What will this mean for Kent State’s dining employees in current positions?
Kent State dining employees will continue in their current positions with no change in their employment status.

 

What will this mean for Aramark employees in current positions?
Aramark employees may pursue employment with Kent State. Aramark employees who are interested in doing so should contact Brenda Richardson at badkins@kent.edu.

2020-2021 Dining Updates

Spring 2021 Dining Updates

As University Dining Services begins to open for Spring Semester 2021, there will be operational adjustments made to dining locations to adapt to the changing needs of the Kent State community and align with the university’s return to campus plan with our COVID-19 response directing much of our work. 

Beginning in Spring 2021: ­­

  • In order to coincide with Kent State's Spring 2021 COVID-19 testing plan for the spring semester, the DI Dining: Eat-In will operate solely as a quarantine meal preparation location to begin the semester, and will have a tentative open date to the public of Feb. 3, 2021.
  • There will be a staggered opening for dining locations throughout the first three weeks of the semester, with George T. Simon Cafe,  located in the College of Architecture & Environmental Design building and Esplanade Starbucks both opening beginning Feb. 3 to line up with the start of in-person classes.
  • The Patio Express, a returning dining concept, will be located in the HUB of the Kent Student Center, offering made-to-order burger and pork sandwiches, a variety of toppings and other entrees such as mac and cheese bowls and fresh-cut fries.
  • Fresco’s Mexican Grill will be leaving its location in the HUB and serving the Kent State community at its restaurant in downtown Kent. 
  • Beginning Jan. 11, and until further notice, all open Kent Campus dining locations will serve takeout and offer limited indoor seating that complies with social distancing. Due to indoor dining returning to campus, the outdoor heated tents will no longer be available as a seating option.

For a list of all dining locations on campus, please review our Hours of Operation.


Dining Safety

Dining Services will implement all COVID safe practices and guidelines established by Kent State University with the Flashes Safe Eight principles, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the State of Ohio and the local Department of Health. 

Students, faculty and guests will be reassured by visual representations of our efforts including signage, frequent sanitation methods and floor stickers to promote physical distancing. Density capacity will be no more than 50% of normal occupancy with 6 feet between tables. This also requires seating limitations for all dining locations, but we will continue to offer to-go options for guests who prefer to eat elsewhere. Our all-you-care-to-eat dining halls (DI Eat-In and Eastway Fresh Food Company) will be a combination of carry-out and limited dine-in seating and may be subject to change in order to remain in compliance with necessary practices and guidelines. 

Please contact Dining Services at Dining@kent.edu if you have any questions or would like additional information.


Fall 2020 Dining Updates

In fall 2020, University Dining Services is excited to unveil a NEW dining hall facility and convenience store in the Design Innovation Hub building that will continue to elevate dining at Kent State University. There will also be operational adjustments made to other dining locations to adapt to the changing needs of the Kent State community and given the unique situation of re-opening with COVID-19 directing much of our work. 

Beginning in the Fall 2020 Semester: 

  • There will be expanded dining offerings at Rosie’s Diner to include pizza and deli options. 
  • Made-without-gluten options will be available at both the DI Eat-In and Eastway Fresh Food Company dining halls, as well as at additional dining locations across campus. 
  • Working with Kent State, Munchies Market and Prentice Cafe will be repurposed as student engagement spaces and will no longer function as dining locations. 
  • The Market dining hall and the Patio within the Kent Student Center will also no longer function as dining halls; the university is determining new uses for these spaces.
  • A NEW chicken concept will be located in the HUB of the Kent Student Center, offering home style breaded chicken tenders, a variety of sauces including an in-house special sauce and scrumptious sides.
  • GRAZERS will be leaving their location on campus and serving the Kent State community at their expanded restaurant located in downtown Kent. 

For a list of all locations on campus, please visit our Hours of Operation page. 


F.A.Q.

Safety Protocols

Q: What steps are being taken at dining locations to provide guests with a safe eating environment?

A: UDS is constantly working to make adjustments to adapt to the changing needs of the Kent State community given the unique situation of re-opening with COVID-19. 

UDS will implement all COVID safe practices and guidelines established by Kent State University with the Flashes Safe Eight principles, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the State of Ohio and the local Department of Health.
 
Students, faculty and guests will be reassured by visual representations of our efforts including signage, frequent sanitation methods and floor stickers to promote physical distancing. This also requires seating limitations for all dining locations, but we will continue to offer to-go options for guests who prefer to eat elsewhere.

 Please contact Dining Services at Dining@kent.edu if you have any questions or would like additional information.

Q: Are Dining Services employees required to wear a face covering or mask?

A: Yes! In accordance with the CDC and university guidelines, all UDS employees will be wearing masks at all dining locations. 

 
Q: Am I required to wear a face covering or mask when I visit dining locations?

A: For up-to-date information on facial covering requirements, please see Facial Covering and Physical Distancing Guidelines.

Q: If the university makes a decision to close due to the COVID situation will I get a dining refund for remaining weeks?

A: For the Fall 2020 semester, resident students with the Gold, Kent or Blue Meal plan will be eligible for a partial refund. Students just need to complete the housing application to move out early. Once that is completed, students will be added to a report to receive a prorated fall semester refund for both housing and dining. 

For the Spring 2021 semester, pricing for the Gold, Kent and Blue meal plans have been adjusted and can be found on our Meal Plans page.

For information any additional questions please contact dining at Dining@kent.edu.

 

Operational Changes

Q: Are to-go boxes still available for to-go at the dining halls?

A: Yes, to-go boxes will be available at Eastway Fresh Food Company and DI Dining Eat-In. 

Q: Will there be seating available at the dining halls?

A: As part of our effort to decrease in-person contact, all Kent Campus dining locations will continue to serve takeout meals only. Please note: Seating capacity may change in order to provide a safe eating environment for all guests throughout the semester. In the event that a dining hall is at seating capacity as a guest arrives to eat, the option to grab a to-go container will be available for guests. With limited or no seating at our locations, we do ask guests to be respectful of the time they spend in the dining halls.

Q: Can I bring my reusable mug or water bottle to dining locations?

A: No. To reduce the potential spread of germs, you will not be allowed to bring any reusable cups or containers to use inside dining locations.

Q: Can I use cash at Dining locations?

A: At this time, Dining Services will be going cashless at many locations. Currently, locations inside The HUB and the Library and Esplanade Starbucks locations are the only locations accepting cash at this time.

Q. Which Dining Locations will be open for the semester?

A: All dining locations and their hours of operations can be viewed by visiting our Hours of Operation page.

For additional questions regarding University Dining Services, please visit our F.A.Q. Page. You can also contact University Dining Services by calling (330) 672-2541 or by emailing dining@kent.edu. For additional updates from Kent State University, please visit the Coronavirus Updates page.