FAQ Meal Plans 2019–2020

What are my options as a UC Berkeley student for meal plans?

If you are living in a residence hall: The Blue Plan is included in your housing contract, and includes a combination of meal swipes and flex dollars. You can upgrade your meal plan anytime to the Gold Plan or Ultimate Plan , based on what works best for you. You can also get more value for your dollar and supplement your meal plans by purchasing add-on flex dollars.

If you are an undergraduate living off-campus housing or university-owned/affiliated apartments: You can choose from three meal plans to best fit your needs: 1400 Plan, 1900 Plan , and 2700 Plan. Meal plans include flex dollars and work on a declining balance, with half of the flex dollars available each semester. You can also get more value for your dollar and supplement your meal plans by purchasing add-on flex dollars.

If you are a graduate/extension student: You can purchase the Graduate/Extension Plan, which includes 300 flex dollars and works on a declining balance. You can also get more value for your dollar and supplement your meal plans by purchasing add-on flex dollars.

When can I start using my meal plan?

All student meal plans begin on the Sunday prior to the start of the fall semester instruction, and are valid during the academic year. 

When do student meal plans expire?

All student meal plans expire at the end of the academic year. Please refer to Cal Dining’s Terms and Conditions for details. Visit our website at caldining.berkeley.edu for up-to-date information on meal plans.

How do meal swipes work?

For students living in residence halls, meal plans include a combination of meal swipes and flex dollars. Meal swipes are stored on your Cal 1 Card, and are deducted each time you visit the dining commons. Based on your meal plan, each week you have a specific number of meal swipes available for you to use. Any unused meal swipes expire on Saturday at midnight each week and reset for the upcoming week. Meal swipes expire at the end of the academic year. Please refer to Cal Dining’s Terms and Conditions for details.

How do flex dollars work?

Flex dollars are stored on your Cal 1 Card, and are deducted each time you visit a Cal Dining location. Flex dollars function like cash dollars—1 flex dollar has the purchasing power of $1. Use your flex dollars at convenience stores, campus restaurants, late night, concession stands, and for guest meals in the dining commons.

For students living in residence halls, meal plans includes meal swipes and flex dollars, which can be used at the dining commons if you run out of meal swipes for the week. Get more for your money when you purchase add-on flex dollars—55 flex dollars for just $50 or 110 flex dollars for $100. Please refer to Cal Dining’s Terms and Conditions for details.

Can I purchase more meal swipes?

If you are a student living in residence halls, you can upgrade to the Ultimate Plan to get unlimited meal swipes. For all student meal plans, you can purchase add-on flex dollars to supplement your plan anytime. Get more value for your dollar—55 flex dollars for just $50 or 110 flex dollars for $100.

When and how do I purchase flex dollars or meal swipes? How can I add more flex dollars to my meal plan?

If you are a student living in residence halls, and have run out of meal swipes for the week, you can use your flex dollars at the dining commons. If you need more meal swipes in your plan, consider upgrading to the Ultimate Plan to get unlimited meal swipes.

For all student meal plans, you can purchase add-on flex dollars at anytime. Get more value for your dollar—55 flex dollars for just $50 or 110 flex dollars for $100. To buy add-on flex dollars, go online or visit the cashier's office located at 2610 Channing Way, 2nd floor.

Please refer to Cal Dining’s Terms and Conditions for details.

Can I take a few items to-go after getting a meal?

Yes, you are more than welcome to grab a piece of fruit, dessert or other small item to-go after eating at one of our facilities.

Can I buy flex dollars without a meal plan?

No, you must have a student meal plan to take advantage of flex dollars.

Can I pay for guests using my meal plan?

Yes, for all student meal plans, you can use your flex dollars to pay for guests at a discounted rate in the dining commons.

Can I change my meal plan?

  • Undergraduate students living in the residence halls: 

    • May downgrade their meal plan at the beginning of the fall semester through September 11, 2019 or from December 1, 2019 to January 24, 2020 for spring semester. Changes to meal plans must be made by contacting the Cal Housing office via email at reshall@berkeley.edu.

    • At any time during the academic year, students in the residence halls may upgrade their meal plan from the Blue Plan to the Gold Plan for the additional cost of $175 per semester, from Blue Plan to theUltimate Plan for $475 per semester, or from the Gold Plan to the Ultimate Plan for $300 per semester. Please note that the upgrade fee cannot be prorated.

    • No other meal plan change requests will be approved outside of the official change period.

  • Undergraduate students living in off-campus housing or in university-owned/affiliated apartments:
    • May downgrade their meal plan from December 1, 2019, to January 24, 2020, for spring semester. Changes to meal plans must be made by filling this form.

       

    • At any time during the academic year, students living in off-campus housing or in university-owned/affiliated apartments may upgrade their meal plan from the 1400 Plan to the 1900 Plan for the additional cost of $200 per semester, from 1400 Plan to the 2700 Plan for $550 per semester, or from the 1900 Plan to the 2700 Plan for $350 per semester. Please note that the upgrade fee cannot be prorated.

    • No other meal plan change requests will be approved outside of the official change period.

  • Graduate/Extension students:

    • ​​Cannot be changed. There are no refunds or transfers on the Graduate/Extension meal plan. All flex dollars expire at the end of the academic year the meal plan was purchased in, or at withdrawal from classes, whichever shall come first.

Who is eligible to buy the 1400 Plan, 1900 plan, or 2700 Plan?

These three meal plans are designed for undergraduate students who live in off-campus housing or university-owned/affiliated apartments. If you are a graduate or extension student living off-campus, please refer to our Graduate Plan listed on the Cal Dining website.

If I live in a residence hall, can I purchase a 1400 Plan, 1900 Plan or 2700 Plan?

No, these three meal plans are designed for students who live in off-campus housing or university-owned/affiliated apartments. If you’re a student living in residence halls, the Blue Plan is included with your housing contract. You can choose to upgrade to the Gold Plan or the Ultimate Plan at anytime.

When and how do I purchase the 1400 Plan, 1900 plan, or 2700 Plan?

If you are an undergraduate student living in off-campus housing or university-owned/ affiliated apartments, you can purchase one of these meal plans at anytime by going online or at the cashier's office located at 2610 Channing Way, 2nd floor.

How does the 1400 Plan, 1900 plan, or 2700 Plan work?

These meal plans are available for undergraduate students living in off-campus housing or university-owned/affiliated apartments. Flex dollars are stored on your Cal 1 Card, and are deducted each time you visit a Cal Dining location. Flex dollars function like cash dollars—1 flex dollar has the purchasing power of $1. Based on your meal plan, each semester you have a specific number of flex dollars available. Use your flex dollars at all Cal Dining locations, including the dining commons, convenience stores, campus restaurants, late night, concession stands, and for guest meals at the dining commons. Get more for your money when you purchase add-on flex dollars—55 flex dollars for just $50 or 110 flex dollars for $100. Please refer to Cal Dining’s Terms and Conditions for details.

What meal plan do I choose if I live in campus apartments like Channing-Bowditch or Wada?

If you are an undergraduate student living in off-campus housing or university-owned/affiliated apartments, you are eligible to purchase one of three meal plans: 1400 Plan, 1900 plan, or 2700 Plan. Read more about the plans at: https://caldining.berkeley.edu/meal-plans/19-20/living-off-campus

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?

If you are a student living in residence halls, your meal plan swipes and flex dollars are all accessible by using your Cal 1 Card. For all other student meal plans, your flex dollars are accessible by using your Cal 1 Card. The Cal 1 Card debit account is an added feature. Yes, the register systems in all Cal Dining locations automatically deduct from your meal plan account first. If you’re a student living in residence halls, deductions start with meal swipes first, and if you run out of meal swipes, then the register will automatically deduct flex dollars from your Cal 1 Card. (You may pay for meals with cash or credit/debit cards if you have run out of swipes and haven't added more flex dollars.) Get more for your money when you purchase add-on flex dollars—55 flex dollars for just $50 or 110 flex dollars for $100.

Can a parent/supporter use CalNet delegate credentials for meal plan or flex dollar purchases?

No, the parent CalNet delegate credentials do not work for the purposes of purchasing meal plans or add-on flex dollars. All students who live in residence halls have the Blue Plan as part of their housing contracts, and must sign up for the meal plan using their own active CalNet identification and password. Students will also use their own active CalNet identification and password if they wish to or to add-on flex dollars to their current plan, or upgrade their meal plan to the Gold Plan or Ultimate Plan.

Can I buy a meal plan just for the fall or spring semester?

No, all student meal plans are available for the academic year, not on a term-by-term basis. If you are planning to graduate, withdraw, or study abroad, you will be exempt from your obligation to pay for the spring portion of your meal plan.

How do I cancel my meal plan?

Meal plans cannot be canceled. Please refer to Cal Dining’s Terms and Conditions for details.

Is there a meal plan for faculty and staff?

Faculty and staff can purchase flex dollars at a discounted rate to use in all Cal Dining locations. Get 110 flex dollars for $100 or 55 flex dollars for $50.

When can I start using my flex dollars? 

Flex dollars are available to purchase on August 1, 2019, and you may begin using them on August 25. You may purchase flex dollars at any time. (Please view our Important Dates for up-to-date information.)

When and how do I purchase flex dollars?

Faculty and staff can purchase flex dollars at anytime online.

When do flex dollars for Faculty and Staff expire?

Your flex dollars and any purchased add-on flex dollars don’t expire. The flex dollars will remain on your faculty/staff user account as long as you are an employee of the University of California, Berkeley. All flex dollars and add-on flex dollars must be used by the last day of employment or funds will be forfeited.

How do flex dollars for Faculty and Staff work?

Flex dollars are stored on your Cal 1 Card, and are deducted each time you visit a Cal Dining location. Flex dollars function like cash dollars—1 flex dollar has the purchasing power of $1. Use your flex dollars at all Cal Dining locations, including the dining commons, convenience stores, campus restaurants, late night, concession stands, and for guest meals in the dining commons. Please refer to Cal Dining’s Terms and Conditions for details.

Can I purchase more flex dollars?

Yes, faculty and staff can purchase flex dollars as they need them. Buy 110 flex dollars for $100 or 55 flex dollars for $50.

Can I pay for guests with Faculty and Staff flex dollars?

Yes, you can use your flex dollars at any Cal Dining location and pay for guests at a discounted rate at the Dining Commons.

Where can I use my flex dollars?

Where can I use my flex dollars? Faculty and staff can use their Flex dollars at all Cal Dining locations:

  • Dining Commons: Café 3, Clark Kerr, Crossroads, and Foothill
  • Convenience Stores: Bear Market, CKCub, The Den, and Cub Market
  • Campus Restaurants: Brown's, Common Grounds, Terrace Café, The Golden Bear Café, and The Pro Shop at RSF
  • Concession Stands: California Memorial Stadium, Edward Track, Evans Diamond, Haas Pavilion, Levine-Fricke Field, and Witter Rugby Field
  • Late Night à la carte service

 

Can I use the flex dollars from spring semester during the following fall semester?

Yes, for faculty and staff, your flex dollars and any purchased add-on flex dollars don’t expire. The flex dollars will remain on your faculty/staff user account as long as you are an employee of the University of California, Berkeley. All flex dollars and add-on flex dollars must be used by the last day of employment or funds will be forfeited.

How can I cancel my flex dollars?

There are no cancellations. Please refer to Cal Dining’s Terms and Conditions for details.

Can I take a few items to-go after getting a meal?

Yes, you are more than welcome to grab a piece of fruit or a dessert to-go after eating at one of our facilities.

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 a registered dietitian to ensure the balance of flavor and nutrition while also highlighting vegan and vegetarian selections. 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. If you would like advice from our registered dietitian, please email:dietitian@berkeley.edu.

Who do I talk to if I have dietary or nutritional questions or concerns?

Your dietary or nutritional questions are best addressed by our registered dietitian in advance by emailing dietitian@berkeley.edu. Our dietitian will meet with you individually to learn your dietary needs, and connect you with the chef in charge of the preparation of your meals if needed. You may also download, complete, and return the Food Allergy and Special Diet Notification Form to our dietitian. If you are prescribed medications or epinephrine injectors for food allergies, please carry them with you at all times.

Our general managers and chefs in each location can assist you on site. In addition, residential students have the opportunity to meet with Tang Center student health workers conveniently located in each residence hall. All students may also visit the campus Tang Center for health and wellness information.

How do you handle food allergies?

Students with food allergies are encouraged to reach out to our registered dietitian in advance by emailing dietitian@berkeley.edu. You will get one-on-one support from our dietitian who can connect you with the chef in charge of the preparation of your meals if needed. You may also download, complete, and return the Food Allergy and Special Diet Notification Form to our registered dietitian. If you are prescribed medications or epinephrine injectors for food allergies, please carry them with you at all times. Read more about how to manage your food allergies while on a meal plan at Cal on our resources page. More information about allergies can be found in the Terms and Conditions for your meal plan.

What if I have a special diet?

Cal Dining makes every effort to identify ingredients that may trigger allergic or other adverse reactions for individuals with food allergies or intolerances. Our staff is trained and educated on food allergies and gluten-free diets on an ongoing basis, and they ensure items marked gluten friendly are made without gluten-containing ingredients. However, due to the volume of meals served and items used each day, along with food product changes from our vendors, we cannot guarantee that every allergen or gluten source in the food served will be identified and labeled. There is a small possibility that, without notice to us, manufacturers of the commercial foods we use can change the formulation at anytime. Cross-contact may also occur despite our best efforts to prevent it. Customers concerned with food allergens and gluten must be aware of these risks. Cal Dining cannot assume any liability for adverse reactions to food consumed, or items one may come in contact with while eating at any Cal Dining facility or catered event. Customers with life-threatening food allergies who may need to use an EpiPen should be carrying their own at all times. Cal Dining staff is not trained to administer EpiPens and cannot provide or administer them.

Cal Dining strives to provide a variety of meal options, including vegetarian and vegan selections. Although not guaranteed, special diets can generally be accommodated within our regular offerings. Residents are encouraged to meet with our registered dietitian to discuss any special dietary concerns or food allergies by emailing dietitian@berkeley.edu. Our dietitian will meet with you individually to learn your dietary needs, and connect you with the chef in charge of the preparation of your meals.

Do you have vegan/vegetarian options?

Cal Dining offers a variety of daily selections to meet your vegetarian and vegan selections at all of our locations. Please review the menu signage to find the highlighted vegan (VG) and vegetarian (V) selections. Please ask a Cal Dining staff member for help if you have additional questions or requests.

Do you offer kosher options?

Kosher and Halal options are available at all the dining commons upon request.

Packaged kosher sandwiches are sold in our convenience stores across campus. If your religious or cultural customs require close attention to diet, please review the menu signage carefully and ask for help from Cal Dining staff if you have additional questions or requests.