Pro tips for your best campus dining experience
Looking for healthy, colorful, flavorful dining options on campus? How about unique international fare? Custom-built flatbreads, salads, and burrito bowls? Ball State Dining has you covered. The 11 dining locations across campus offer some of the best menu variety in the country, according to The Daily Meal, who named Ball State to its “Best Colleges for Food in America” list in both 2015 and 2016.Want to get the most out of your dining experience? Here are some “pro tips”—pieces of advice that students and employees have told us have been helpful in taking advantage of the variety and value available in Ball State Dining:
- Take the time to eat all across campus. Each location has its own specialties and unique menus.
- All-you-care-to-eat locations are a great value. You even get to carry out a piece of fruit.
- The items that offer the most variety aren't always the most visible, b/c they haven't been made yet—they're custom items made to order. So, if you want variety, be sure to take a second to look around before you fill your tray.
- For shorter lines, try to avoid eating right at noon if possible.
- Grab one of Dining’s reusable mugs or bottles for 80-cent fills on self-serve coffee and fountain drinks. The savings add up fast.
- Put your dressing in a cup at weighed salad bars rather than directly on your salad—one cup is complimentary.
- Before breaks, some items are discounted. Keep an eye out.
- If you want to know about things like half-price Starbucks specials, follow Ball State Dining on social media. Discounts are usually announced on Twitter.
- Use NetNutrition to see menus online from your phone or other mobile device before you head to a location.
- Subscribe to Dining emails in the Communications Center so you don’t miss information about meal plan change deadlines.
- Find something you absolutely love at a homestyle station and want to catch it again the next time it’s on the menu? Most homestyle/comfort menus rotate on a four-week cycle, so check NetNutrition for that meal again in four weeks.
- If you’re planning to move off campus but will still be eating some snacks or meals on campus, or grabbing Starbucks, purchase Dining Cash before you move off campus. Why? If you purchase Dining Cash while you’re still on a meal plan, you’ll receive 10% off the purchase of funds. Dining Cash doesn’t expire until you leave the university, unlike the Dining Plus that comes with a meal plan.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for something you want to see on menus. Dining is responsive to student feedback and goes the extra mile to meet student requests. Success story case study: buffalo chicken dip!
- As always, on-campus students with individual dietary needs such as food allergies are encouraged to contact Dining at 765-285-1967 for assistance with meal planning and any needed accommodations. And off-campus students, don’t forget that there are meal plans specifically designed for you. Learn more about Ball State Dining’s menus, hours, and events at bsu.edu/dining.
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