Who can buy the non-resident meal plans?
Any UC Berkeley student can purchase the non-resident meal plans. You can apply online or by stopping in the Cashier's Office.
How can I change my meal plan?
From December 1 - January 10, you can change your meal plan online or at the cashier's office located at 2610 Channing Way, 2nd floor. Resident Meal Plan changes contact email@example.com or 510.642.4108. Non-Resident Meal Plan changes contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 510.642.1524
What meal plan do I choose if I live in campus apartments like Channing-Bowditch or Wada?
All UC housing apartments [Ida Jackson, Manville, Channing Bowditch, Wada, etc.] do not require residents to purchase a meal plan because some kitchen space is provided. However, residents of these apartments can choose from the Non-Resident Meal Plans. Some students enjoy having a Meal Plan for dining commons meals and on-campus meals. Purchase a Non-Resident Meal Plan here using your Cal Net ID!
What happens if I have a Cal 1 Card debit account and a meal plan? Will the register know which plan to take funds from?
Yes, the register systems in all Cal Dining locations automatically draw from the meal plan account first. If there are no meal points, then the registers will automatically deduct from the Cal 1 Card debit account if a student has one. (Otherwise students may pay for meal with cash or credit/debit cards if they have run out of points and haven't added more).
Can I buy a meal plan just for Fall Semester?
Although we don't offer fall only meal plans, customers can cancel their non-resident spring meal plans beginning December 1. Students graduating, withdrawing from the University or studying abroad (EAP) can bring proof of such upon cancellation and the $50 fee will be waived.
Does Cal Dining provide balanced meal options?
Cal Dining offers a wide variety of options. Our menus are created by a team of chefs and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist to ensure the balance of flavor and health. While our menus are diverse, it is up to our customers to choose wisely. For ultimate nutritional value, Cal Dining sources a multitude of items that are environmentally friendly as well as health promoting.
Where do I find nutrition information?
Nutrition information is not currently available online as Cal Dining transitions to a new menu management system. It is available in a booklet in each of our residence dining commons. Nutritional analysis for retail items without a nutrition label that is not listed online can be requested by e-mailing email@example.com.
Who do I talk to if I have dietary or nutritional questions or concerns?
Dietary or nutritional questions are best addressed to our staff dietitian in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Our general managers and chefs in each location can assist you on site. Residential students also can talk to the Tang Center student healthworkers located in each residence hall. All students can also visit the campus Tang Center for health and wellness information.
How do you handle allergies?
Students with allergies are encouraged to reach out to our Registered Dietitian in advance by emailing email@example.com, who will provide one-on- one support and connect you with the culinary team if needed.
Do you have vegan/vegetarian options?
Each dining location offers vegan and vegetarian options. Bear Fit station at Crossroads is a dedicated vegan platform. Café 3 features a plant-forward menu vegans and vegetarians may find appealing.
Do you offer Kosher options?
In addition to being a plant-forward dining hall, Café 3 is now Kosher and Halal friendly with a certified Kosher kitchen offering Kosher meats. Packaged Kosher sandwiches are sold in our Retail units across campus.
Do the meal plans provide all the meals for the year?
Our meal plans are designed to provide a foundation of student's food, beverages and snacks. Depending on a student's eating habits, our plans will provide 50% - 75% of their total dining expenses. We know students choose to eat off-campus and want to enjoy the culinary delights Berkeley and the Bay Area has to offer, and our meal plans allow them to do that without losing value. Visit the Financial Aid page for a budget.
What can I get for my points in a typical week?
The number of points used will be decided entirely by how the customer chooses to spend his or her points. On average, the Standard plan provides on average 10 meals per week and the Premium plan provides on average 14 meals. Click here to view our points budgeting chart.
Where can I use my meal plan points?
You can use your points at any of the Cal Dining locations:
- All-you-care-to-eat dining commons: Clark Kerr, Crossroads, Café 3, Foothill
- Residential retail locations: Bear Market, Cub Market, CKCub and The Den (featuring Peet's Coffee & Tea)
- Retail locations: The Golden Bear Café, Brown's, Terrace Café, The Pro Shop and Common Grounds
- Concession stands at California Memorial Stadium & Haas Pavilion
Will I lose my points if I don't use them?
Up to 100 unused meal plan points left over from Fall Semester will rollover to Spring Semester; any remaining points after Spring Semester are forfeited. Should a student cancel their non-resident meal plan, points do not rollover. Points not used by the end of the academic year in the Spring Semester do not rollover to Summer or the subsequent Fall Semester, and are forfeited.
How and when can I purchase a non-resident meal plan?
Starting August 1, students can purchase non-resident meal plans online or by stopping in the Cashier's Office at 2610 Channing Way on the 2nd floor. Meal plans begin in August, date varies depending on class start. Please visit the Berkeley academic calendar for exact start dates.
How can I add more points?
Add more points any time online or by stopping into the Student Affairs Cashier's office at 2610 Channing Way 2nd floor. Minimum is $50 for 55 points and can only be paid by credit card. All points added during the Fall Semester will roll over to the Spring Semester. Unused points from Spring Semester do not rollover to Summer or the subsequent Fall Semesters.
Can I pay for guests with these meal plans?
Yes, the points added each semester are under complete control of the meal plan holder to use at his or her discretion at any Cal Dining locations.
Why can't I use my points at other on-campus locations not run by Cal Dining?
Cal Dining Meal Plan points do not have a cash value, and are specific to Cal Dining locations, therefore may not be used at dining operations not run by Cal Dining. Cal Dining is self-supporting and does not receive student fees, if Meal Plans could be used elsewhere, Cal Dining wouldn't be able to pay for our buildings, food, and staff.
Will I get bored?
Our meal plans allow students flexibility in that they can dine at all Cal Dining locations (many other meal plans don't allow that); and freedom to choose how, where and when they want to eat in our locations. Our unit chefs create seasonal menus specifically designed to offer the variety every week. These special events might be small, like banana split night, or large, such as Winterfest, where each dining commons hosts a special meal for our guests.
What is the actual cost of the meal plan for residential students?
Residential students pay one room and board rate and meal plans are not optional. While non-residential students do have a plan with the same amount of points, those students do not pay for some of the benefits that residential students receive that are included in the cost of living on campus, such as high-speed internet access, residential staff (such as RAs and ADs) and Academic Centers.
If I don't live in a residence hall, do I need to buy a meal plan?
No, however many students enjoy not having to cook or buy groceries all the time. If that sounds like you, then the meal plans are a great option. Our weekly produce stand and Bear Market, featuring grocery retail items, offer students a way to purchase items to create their own meals. Meal plan students receive a discount on their point value in dining hall locations.
How does the Cal 1 Card work with Cal Dining?
Your Cal 1 Card serves as your permanent identification while you are at Cal and also stores meal plan information. The Cal 1 Card also has a convenient Debit Account option that allows you to have a declining balance account to use at all Cal Dining locations, residence hall laundry, campus vending machines, at the official Cal Student Store (bookstore), and several off-campus retail locations. Although Cal Dining doesn't operate the Cal 1 Card, we work closely with them so you can get the most usability for this great convenience.
How do you determine retail pricing?
As stated in an earlier answer, Cal Dining is a self-supporting entity on campus that does not receive student fee dollars and completely supports the operating costs of our facilities with the meal plan and retail dollars we receive. We base our pricing on actual product cost, facility expenses [like electricity and equipment] and labor costs. We pay our employees a living wage and full benefits. Cal Dining has about 1/10 of the buying power of a single grocery store.
What else does Dining operate on campus?
Cal Dining is not the exclusive provider of food on campus. We operate 15 food locations on campus, in addition to concessions at Cal Athletics sporting venues. Our primary customers are our residential students and the core of our operation is residential dining.
What is a "to - go" meal?
All four residence hall dining locations offers customers a "to-go" meal option through our Chews to Reuse program. Students pay a one-time purchase fee of 5 points or $5 for a reusable to-go meal container and 5 points or $5 for a reusable to-go beverage container. These reusable containers can be filled and returned in exchange for clean containers for free. After the one-time fee buy in, students simply pay for a meal next time they choose to dine using the "to-go" containers, and may reuse their containers for the rest of the year. Visit the Chews To Reuse site for more information.
Can I take a few items to go after getting a meal?
Can I use the points from Spring Semester [the second half of my allotted points] during the Fall Semester if I run out?
No. Half of the academic year points are added in the fall, the other half added at the beginning of the Spring Semester. Students may add more points at any time within Fall Semester if they run out of points.
Can I use my points during the breaks?
Meal Plan points cannot be used when resident halls are closed. The meal plan points are not be available over Winter break. Points may be used during Spring Break in Cal Dining campus restaurants that are open, although the residence dining halls are closed.
I am a graduate student taking classes in the summer, what plan can I purchase?