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

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 evolving public health guidelines to ensure that the best safety measures are taken. Food Services have established 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?

You are free to visit the Dining Hall at any time during opening hours. We intend to re-open 24/7 once public health authorities permit.

As per public health guidelines, all guests must wear a facemask while in the dining hall, unless sitting at a table. We also ask that guests use the provided hand sanitizer upon entering.

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.

We are going cashless in September. We ask that you pay with your uOttawa Card (meal plan, Flex $ or Dining $), debit, or credit card.

Following the new COVID-19 provincial directives, we are required to record your name and information if you are paying with your debit or credit card.

Please note that failure to comply with COVID-19 measures may lead to denied entry to the Dining Hall, sanctions on your uOttawa card, up to and including terminating your meal plan.

How will you ensure the health and safety of customers in the Dining Hall?

NOTICE: In order to comply with the new Public Health guidelines, the Dining Hall will now offer take-out service only, from Sunday, December 27 until the provincial authorities decide to lift the lockdown measures.

​​​​In order to respect physical distancing, we will limit the number of people allowed in the Dining Hall to 50 guests. This may change to reflect Public Health guidelines.

  • All guests must wear a mask or face covering in the Dining Hall, unless seated at a table.
  • 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.
  • Due to limited seating, we ask all guests to eat and then leave the Dining Hall to allow space for other students. The use of laptops and studying in the Dining Hall is not allowed while seating remains limited.
  • 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 by green stickers to ensure your dining experience is pleasant and safe. Please ensure that you are seated in a safe and physically distanced space.
  • Cashless payment:

Meal plan holders will enter using their uOttawa Card (meal plan, Flex $ or Dining $).

Single entry visitors will be asked to pay with their debit or credit card.

  • 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.

All 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 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 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 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 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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