COVID-19 : FAQ related to Meal Plans and Dining Hall this Fall

Student with a plate in hand being served a meal by a chef behind glass

As we navigate through these challenging times, we want to assure you that our students and staff’s health and safety remain our top priority.

We continue to follow the public health guidelines to ensure that the best safety measures are taken. Food Services are currently developing new processes and procedures for the fall to ensure the best possible experience while respecting new safety measures and physical distancing guidelines.
We will continue to work with students to ensure that all allergy and dietary needs are met.
Please visit this webpage regularly for the latest information and updates on the measures uOttawa is taking in the Dining Hall and related to the Meal Plans to keep serving you well.

FAQ – Dining Hall

How will the Dining Hall work? What changes are being implemented?

In the fall, the Dining Hall will be open to serve all three of your daily meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner); however, it will not be open 24/7. The exact hours of operations remain to be determined and will be in accordance with public health guidelines. We intend to re-open 24/7 once public health authorities permit.

The Dining Hall will remain all-you-care-to-eat, however to ensure the health and safety of all, a full-service model, where our dining hall staff will assist students with various items will be replacing the self-serve model

To avoid contamination, My pantry (where students cooked their own food)will be closed. As an alternative, we are working on adding a new full-service station at this location.

The Dining Hall will only be open to students, professors, and staff (no external guests permitted). You may be required to show your uOttawa student card to enter the Dining Hall.

We are also considering going cashless, but more information will be provided on this page in the following weeks. We ask that you pay with your uOttawa Card (meal plan, Flex $ or Dining $), debit, or credit card.

All of our exciting Dining Hall events are set to proceed as scheduled, but we are still working on adapting them to respect physical distancing and safety guidelines.

How will you ensure the health and safety of customers in the Dining Hall?
  • To respect health and safety guidelines, food stations will no longer be self-serve; there will be staff to help serve each student.
  • Pre-wrapped cutlery will be handed out at the entrance.
  • All plates, cups, and mugs will be handed out at the various food stations to avoid direct contact.
  • Enhanced cleaning procedures have been implemented. We will be cleaning all areas regularly according to the strictest hygiene standards, and we’re increasing the frequency of cleaning in high-traffic areas. 
  • In order to respect physical distancing, we may limit the number of people allowed in the Dining Hall at once.
  • We have added hand sanitizer stations and installed protection panels at the welcome counters and the food stations.
  • We will be placing wayfinding and directional signage to facilitate the navigation in certain areas of the Dining Hall and physical distancing markers on the floor to respect the 2-metre distancing rule.
  • Specific seating areas will be designated to ensure your dining experience is pleasant and safe. 
  • Cashless payment: We ask that you pay with your uOttawa Card (meal plan, Flex $ or Dining $), debit or credit card.
  • We recommend that our customers and employees wear a mask. 


We have implemented these additional preventive measures and will continue to comply with the strict hygiene measures recommended by food safety health authorities.

How will the meals in the Dining hall be prepared and served?

We will continue using fresh ingredients to provide diverse chef-crafted food offerings, including vegan, vegetarian, halal, and allergen-friendly choices.

We are reviewing our menus and hours of operation. Our team is committed to following the guidelines provided by public health authorities and aligning with governmental physical distancing protocols.

Unlike the summer term, the Dining Hall will no longer offer a take-out option. Instead, meal plan holders will be required to eat in the Dining Hall and meals will be served by staff. We are suspending all self-serve stations and are implementing a full-service model, where our Dining hall staff will assist students with various items.

We are implementing procedures to limit the amount of direct contact with food during preparation and are strengthening the already high food safety standards employed at Food Services.

FAQ – Meal Plans

Do mandatory meal plans in residences change?

The residences with a mandatory meal plan remain the same.

Meal plans remain mandatory for first-year students living in Stanton, Thompson, Marchand, Leblanc or 90 University. Students under the mandatory meal plan choose between a 5-day or 7-day plan during the residence application process.

Will there be a price change for meal plans?

There will be no changes in the price of the meal plans.

Our team continues to work hard to provide you with the best service, a wide variety of delicious food options, including vegetarian, vegan and Halal, a great community and learning environment centered on nutrition, and special events such as guest chefs and theme nights.

I am no longer coming to uOttawa, how do I cancel my meal plan?

Students who have requested a meal plan along with their residence application (whether the meal plan is mandatory or optional) have until August 24, 2020 to cancel it by emailing Housing Service at residence@uOttawa.ca. They will inform you of the steps to take to request your refund.

If you have purchased your meal plan separately, contact the uOttawa Card Service at uOttawaCard@uOttawa.ca for refund details.

After August 24, 2020, all meal plans are non-refundable, non-transferable and not interchangeable.

How do I change my meal plan type?

Want to change your meal plan from 5-day to 7-day? Or vice-versa? If you purchased the meal plan along with your residence application (whether the meal plan is mandatory or optional), simply email Housing Service at residence@uOttawa.ca before August 24, 2020, and they will change your plan for you.

Will my meal plan be refunded if I am forced to move out of residence this fall due to COVID-19?

As we did in March 2020, students who move out of residences with a mandatory meal plan will be refunded the remaining balance of their meal plan on a pro-rata basis. 

If you are required to move into another residence that also has a mandatory meal plan, you will be required to keep the meal plan that was applied to your uOttawa Card.

If I don’t live in residence, can I still purchase a meal plan?

Yes! You can buy a meal plan online starting August 1, 2020. Meal plans can be purchased online using Visa, Mastercard and Interac online (BMO, TD Canada Trust, RBC and ScotiaBank).Once logged in (as a student or parent), select the meal plan tab to purchase a meal plan.

We currently cannot offer in person purchasing of meal plans since our on-site services are closed until further notice as part of efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

More information will be available on this webpage in upcoming weeks.

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