Dear Lafayette students:

We are very excited to continue to serve the small number of you who will be with us this semester! As you’d expect, we’re implementing some serious sanitation and service measures to ensure you can dine with us as safely and comfortably as possible. We’ll go into those in more detail later.

While COVID-19 safety is a key priority, it is not our only one. We still believe that food has an important role to play in individual wellness and in building culture and community here at Lafayette. Our chefs will still be cooking from scratch, using fresh local and seasonal ingredients that meet our sustainability standards, and utilizing lots of LaFarm-grown produce.

In addition, you will continue to find abundant plant-forward, vegetarian, and vegan options as well as ones that are made without gluten-containing ingredients every day.

If you have a food allergy or other dietary restriction and have questions, please reach out to John Soder, campus executive chef, who will make sure you can enjoy plenty of delicious food, safely, with us.

So basically, how is dining going to work this year? 

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have implemented new safety measures based on guidance from the CDC, our Coronavirus Response Team experts, and local health regulations. All Lafayette Dining team members who have returned to work have received COVID-19-specific training designed by sanitation experts and updated regularly as new issues emerge. Topics covered include proper disinfection, the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), physical distancing protocols, and more, and are integrated with food safety and sanitation protocols. Mask wearing at all times and pre-shift wellness screenings will be mandatory for Lafayette Dining employees.

In order to continue to nourish our campus community safely, we have temporarily closed the ECO Café, Simon’s, Skillman Café, and Marquis. Upper, Lower, Gilbert’s, and the Pard Provisions Food Truck will be open with augmented hours and changes to menus.

We have drastically increased the amount of grab-and-go dining options by rolling out a new takeout menu, ordering kiosks, and a contactless mobile ordering app, Transact. We’ll let you know when the app goes live in the coming weeks.

In order to complement this new focus on grab-and-go options, we’ve worked with the administration to add more opportunities for al fresco dining. We’ve increased the number of picnic tables and Adirondack chairs around campus and have selected sites for popup dining tents. We will also offer safe, socially distant indoor seating at Lower, Upper, and Gilberts, with tables segmented into individual cubbies with plexiglass dividers. We have also installed handwashing stations and hand sanitizer dispensers at all of the open dining locations on campus.

While inside dining halls and cafés on campus, whether you’re picking up a grab-and-go order, or sitting down for a meal, we ask that you abide by the posted physical distancing and wayfinding signage. We will be wearing masks at all times while indoors, and per Lafayette’s policy, we expect you to as well, except for when you’re eating.

Meal plans will start on Aug. 10, with Lower open from 8 a.m.-6 p.m., through Aug. 12. Regular hours of operation begin on Aug. 13. View detailed hours for dining locations across campus.

What other COVID-19 safety measures are Bon Appétit dining staff taking?

  • Team members wear “I’m Trained” buttons to let you know they’re up to date on all safety measures.
  • Separate workspaces for food preparation will allow for safe physical distancing (6-foot rule) between colleagues.
  • Amped-up cleaning and sanitation schedules with clearly detailed procedures that meet or exceed all local guidelines and national best practices. This includes frequent disinfection of high-touch surfaces, including wiping down tables and seats between guests and disinfecting all highly touched areas such as door handles every 20 minutes.
  • Pre-shift wellness screenings for employees in alignment with local regulations, which include no-contact temperature scans and daily interview questions. 
  • Decision tree and step-by-step action plan for unit managers who have employees who are sick or who may have had contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19. (Bon Appétit offers paid sick leave to all employees.)

I have a question you didn’t answer! Whom can I ask?

While we’ll greatly miss seeing the majority of the Lafayette community this semester, we’re looking forward to serving the folks who will still be on campus. Thank you and be well.

Chris Brown

Christopher F. Brown | General Manager | Bon Appétit Management Company | Food Service for a Sustainable Future® | 610-330-5346 |