Kansas Union and DeBruce Center

KU Dining FAQ's


Image of a hamburger prepared by KU Dining

Below are some frequently asked questions concerning KU Dining plans. If you have any further questions, you can contact Karen Cross at kcross@ku.edu or by phone at 785-864-7274.


How do I use my KU Cuisine dining plan?

Your KU Card is required for each transaction. All you need to do is present your KU Card for access/meal swipe in the Residential Dining Centers or have your card scanned at any of the Campus Retail Cafes to use your KU Cuisine Cash or Beak ‘Em Bucks.

You are responsible for the condition of your KU Card. If it is damaged and will no longer scan through the dining center card readers, you will need to go to the KU Card Center and have it replaced.

Where can I use the dining plan options?

We offer maximum flexibility in the 20+ campus locations – including residence hall (all you-care to eat) dining centers, Jaywalk Meals (to-go meals), retail cafes in the KU Memorial Unions and Pharmacy building located on West Campus, as well as convenient Jay Breaks (snack bars).

Here is how the different components of the dining plans are used:

  • “Dining Center Access/Meals and Bring A Friend Meal”- Includes access to Ekdahl Dining Center (Mrs. E’s), Oliver Dining Center, and North College Cafe Dining Center for meals or snacks. Also can be used for Cuisine To Go at The Studio Café (Hashinger Hall), or North College Cafe Dining Center (GSP Hall).
  • “Bring A Friend” meals- are assigned to the KU Card and can be used at the all-you-care-to-eat Dining Centers to host friends or family. Bring A Friend meals do not deduct from the total Dining Center Meals. Inform the cashier that you wish to use a Bring A Friend meal before your KU Card is run through at the register.
  • “KU Cuisine Cash” –Use at all 20+ locations on campus and for Domino’s Pizza and Glory Days Delivery. To view the campus locations, click here.
  • “Free Large Za Pizzas” on the Jayhawk Unlimited and Rock Chalk Unlimited are activated the Tuesday following the deadline for meal plan changes. Fall semester is September 6, 2016 and for spring semester January 31, 2017. Available only at The Studio Café in Hashinger Hall and at the Ozone in Oliver Hall.
  • Blue Basic and Campanile Apartment weekly plans reset early Monday morning (2am).
What does “Unlimited Access” mean on the Jayhawk Unlimited and Rock Chalk Unlimited Plans?

Unlimited access means you may enter the dining center (Mrs. E’s, North College Café, or Oliver Dining) as many times as you like during the hours of operation. There is no cap on the number of time you may enter each day providing you have opted for one of the following active KU Cuisine Dining Plans: Sunflower Unlimited, Jayhawk Unlimited or Rock Chalk Unlimited. It is ideal for students who eat several smaller meals per day or for students who utilize the dining centers for studying and have access to snacks.

What is the difference between KU Cuisine Cash and Beak ’Em Bucks?

KU Cuisine Cash is part of the dining plan and cannot be recharged. Beak ‘Em Bucks is a declining balance account that is automatically set up for you when the KU Card is issued and can be recharged. If there are both accounts on a KU Card, the system is programmed to use KU Cuisine Cash first and then Beak ‘Em Bucks.

What is a “Jaywalk Meal”?

A quick "to go" meal exchange on your KU Cuisine dining plan (dining center access/meal) that allows you the flexibility and convenience to select from varied menu options of foods to take with you on those busy days when you cannot get back to your favorite dining center. Let the cashier know when they swipe your KU Card to get plastic silverware and a compostable container (the lid must be able to close). You can select “Jaywalk Meal” service – one meal per day during the service hours posted in each location. “Jaywalk Meal” service hours are available on this website under the Residential Dining Hours. Cannot be used if staying to eat inside the dining center.

How are the dining plans prices figured?

There is a great deal that goes into providing student meals in three all-you-care-to eat dining centers on campus. We ask that you take into consideration the "big picture¨ of the overall meal plan cost. We research the latest consumer price index for food for the coming year; calculate our fiscal expenses; and, finally, determine the total number of operating days for that academic year in order to establish the prices for each meal plan option offered.

KU Dining is a not-for-profit organization and receives no funding from the State of Kansas. All revenues go directly back into dining programs and facilities. Here is the breakdown of those costs:

  • Food (all food and paper supplies): 39%
  • Human Resources (salaries, wages and benefits, including employee meals): 37%
  • General Expenses (utilities, uniforms, laundry, cleaning chemicals, telephone, office supplies, etc.): 18%
  • Reserves (facility and equipment repairs/renewals): 6%
What if I'm not living on campus?
KU Cuisine Dining Plans are available to any KU student, faculty or staff member. All you need is an active KU Card. Check out our Campanile Apartment Plan that includes 2 residential dining meals per week and $500 KU Cuisine Cash per year.
How long does it take after I sign up online until I can use my KU Cuisine Dining Plan?

If you do not live in University Housing, you may sign up for a KU Cuisine Dining Plan by logging onto the myKU portal, sign into Student Housing, and choose “Dining Plans” under “What do you want to do?” It will be in the system 1-2 business days after you submit the application.

How can I change my KU Cuisine Dining Plan?

You may change your plan according to semester deadlines. Log into the myKU portal and sign into Student Housing under “Services” or “Campus Life”. Choose “Dining Plan” under “What do you want to do?”

The Fall semester deadline is September 2, 2016, 5:00 p.m. Spring semester deadline is January 27, 2017, 5:00 p.m.

How can I view my dining plan usage and KU Cuisine Cash balances?

You now have the ability to view your KU Card balances and transaction history, add funds to your Beak ‘Em Bucks account, set account notifications, and report your card lost or stolen via smart phones. To access these features, visit the KU Web Card Center Website. For plans that have meal swipes, the balance can also be given at the cashier’s station when the plan is used.

What happens to the Dining Center meals, KU Cuisine Cash, Bring a Friend meals and Free Large Za Pizzas at the end of the Fall semester/year?

The Dining Center meals, Bring a Friend meals and Free Large Za Pizzas that remain at the end of the semester are forfeited. The KU Cuisine Cash balance that remains at the end of fall semester will roll over to spring semester with an active spring semester KU Cuisine Meal Plan. The other half of the KU Cuisine Cash will be added to the account at the beginning of Spring semester.

All Dining Center Meals, KU Cuisine Cash, Bring a Friend meals and Free Large Za Pizzas are forfeited at the end of the academic year.

What if my KU Cuisine Cash balance becomes low?

You may add money to your KU Card in your Beak 'Em Bucks account. Beak 'Em Bucks is a declining balance account that is automatically set up for you when the KU Card is issued. In order to use Beak 'Em Bucks, you need to add to the account.

There are several options available:

  1. on-line via the KU Web Card Center
  2. selecting it through Optional Campus Fees
  3. at a campus cash-to-card machine

Beak 'Em Bucks can be used for food purchases, printing, photocopying, and laundry.

For additional information, please contact the KU Card Center at 785-864-5845 or kucard@ku.edu.

What if my meals run out before the end of the week/semester?

Blocks of 10 meals can be purchased for $88.00 at any time during each semester if you have one of the following active KU Cuisine Dining Plans: Crimson Flex $200.00, Basic Blue $100.00 or Campanile Apartment plans. Log into the myKU portal and sign into Student Housing under “Services” or “Campus Life”. Choose “Dining Plan” under “What do you want to do?” Your university account will then be billed for the meals. Block of 10 meals do not roll over.

You may want to consider changing to a meal plan with more meals at semester to receive the best value.

What if I want to bring my family or friends to eat with me at the Residential Dining Centers (Mrs. E's, North College Café and Oliver)?

You may use a Bring A Friend meal, KU Cuisine Cash or pay the guest meal price. KU Cuisine Cash is not charged tax at the Residential Dining Centers (Mrs. E's, North College Café, and Oliver Dining Center).

The University policy is that the KU Card is non-transferable; KU Cards cannot be loaned to another student. This includes the students' dining plan. The Bring a Friend meal are included in the dining plan to provide opportunity to host a guest.

What if I have a food allergy, intolerance, or require a special diet for medical or religious reasons?

We ask that the student contact Christine Ebert, MS, RD, LD at 785-864-2424. Due to allergies, doctor’s orders, or religious reasons, a student may request a special diet and will require meeting with the dining manager to make appropriate accommodations. Special diets will be provided on an individual basis. We encourage students to contact the KU Academic Achievement and Access Center and register if allergies or intolerances are severe at 785-864-4064 Fax: 785-864-2817.

What if I don't have my KU Card yet at the beginning of the semester?

Occasionally, students will move into the residence halls earlier than when they have had the opportunity to get their KU Card. The meal plan contract begins "move-in day", residential dining centers provide a temporary solution to allow students to eat in the Dining Centers locations.

Cashiers at any of the Dining Center locations ("Mrs. E's", Oliver Dining and North College Café) will issue a temporary card after verifying the student has a KU Cuisine Dining Plan. The student will sign a Temporary Card Form to document which card the student has been assigned.

We encourage students to resolve their card issues as quickly as possible.

Important information:

  • This card has been issued for the student's convenience and is the student's responsibility. Since there is no photo, please keep it in a secure location. If the card is lost or stolen, you must report it to the Dining Access Coordinator at 785-864-7274.
  • The student will need to return the temporary card to a dining center cashier when the KU Card is activated or obtained.
  • The temporary card will be deactivated the first of the month (September in the fall and February in the spring.)
  • This card will substitute for the KU Card (dining center meal component only) until the KU Card is activated or obtained.
  • The student must have the temporary card to enter a residential dining center and may be used for dining center meals at Mrs. E's, Oliver Dining and North College Café, or at The Studio at Hashinger Hall for Cuisine to Go meals.
  • The number of meals used on this card will be deducted from their KU Cuisine Meal Plan.
  • This card carries the same rules and policies as the KU Card regarding meal plan use. Meals are non-transferable; you may not host guests with this card.
  • The temporary card will not provide security access nor serve as your KU Card for any other campus activity.
What if I lost/don't have my KU Card at the Dining Centers during the year?

If your KU Card has been lost or stolen, it must be deactivated immediately through the KU Web Card Center or by calling the Card Center at 785-864-5845 during business hours. You may also go to the KU Card Center on level 4 of the Kansas Union between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday to deactivate your card. Please note that KU Dining Services is not liable for financial loss or criminal repercussions associated with lost, stolen, damaged or fraudulently used KU Cards.

You will be asked to go get your card. If that is not possible, the cashier will issue a Meal Pass.

Meal Pass Policy

Each meal pass will be written for two business days. This will allow you time to purchase a replacement KU Card. There will be a $5.00 charge for each meal pass.

To replace your KU Card, go to the KU Card Center, Kansas Union, Level 4, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Once you have purchased the replacement KU Card, the old one is invalidated by the KU Card Center and may no longer be used. There is a $15.00 replacement fee for the new card.

Important information:

  • Since the KU Card Center is open Monday through Friday, meal passes issued over the weekend will be written for extra days allowing the patron the two business days stated in the policy in which to obtain their replacement card.
  • Possession of a meal pass does not guarantee the holder meals. Availability of meals is based on the holder's current account balance.
  • Just like the lost KU Card they replace, a meal pass must be presented to the Cashier in order to obtain meals. If a meal pass is not presented or is lost, then patron will be issued the next sequential meal pass.
  • If you do not have your KU Card at the retail locations, you will need to use another form of payment.
Who do I contact if I have concerns or questions about KU Dining Services?
  • For Residential Dining Centers, Mrs. E's, Oliver, North College Café, The Studio, and O'zone contact Sheryl Kidwell, Assistant Director, at sherkid@ku.edu
  • For the KU Memorial Union Dining Centers: The Underground, The Market, Courtside Cafe or the Jay Breaks (snack bars) contact Alecia Stultz, Assistant Director, at astultz@ku.edu
  • For Catering, contact Whitney Fox, Catering Coordinator, at catering@ku.edu
  • For the Impromptu Restaurant, contact Kim Nixon, Impromptu Manager, at kimnixon@ku.edu
What if, as a parent, I have questions regarding my student’s dining account?

In accordance with KU Student Records Policy, the Federal Educational Right to Privacy Act (FERPA) requires that students provide written authorization to the Bursar's Office before we can release financial information to anyone. We understand that many parents, spouses, or other individuals pay or need to discuss charges on a student's account. To assist students who want the Bursar's Office to communicate with other individuals, the student must complete and deliver the Financial Information Release form to the Bursar's Office. This form is available through this website www.bursar.ku.edu on the main page by selecting FORMS. The form is also available at the Bursar's Office reception desk in Carruth O'Leary, Room 20.

For general questions regarding KU Cuisine Meal Plan accounts, contact Karen Cross, Dining Access Coordinator, by email at kcross@ku.edu or by phone at 785-864-7274.

Does KU Dining Services offer a healthy selections program?

KU Dining Services offers a variety of options. Vegetarian and vegan options as well as fresh fruits and vegetables are offered in all locations. Nature’s Finest can be found at all residential dining centers, this concept features all plant based menu options. At the start of the 2016-17 academic year we will be rolling out our new Beak Bites program which denotes better for you options in each of the following categories: entrees, sides, composed salads, soups, and desserts. The Beak Bites concept is a part of the campus nutrition and wellness campaign to provide students, faculty and staff with healthier menu options at convenient locations. Prior to Beak Bites rolling out, be sure to check out our NetNutrition site for complete nutrition and ingredient information.

Where can I find nutritional information of the foods served at campus dining locations?

Net Nutrition is our online nutrition analysis program. This service provides a convenient method to calculate the approximated nutritional values of your food selections from our various campus dining locations. These Daily Value percentages are based upon a setting that averages the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for males and females between the ages of 19-24. Net Nutrition is best viewed in Internet Explorer. It is located here.

What does KU Dining do in regards to sustainability?

KU Dining Services is proud to say it is an active campus partner in the sustainability effort. From our conservation and recycling partnership with KU Recycling Programs to our Biodiesel Initiative to staff and consumer education and our efforts to buy local we show our dedication to sustainability. Check out our special sustainability page to see all that we are currently doing - and plan to do in the near future - in this increasingly important area.

What happens if classes are canceled due to weather?

The residential dining centers (Mrs. E’s, North College Café and Oliver Dining) will serve regular operating hours even when classes are canceled due to weather. Retail locations will typically be closed.

What happens if I’m sick and am unable to go to the dining halls?

The dining centers will provide pick up meals for student who have dining plan. To access our “Feel Better” meals, contact Mrs. E’s Dining Center at 785-864-2261. Students living in Oliver Hall, please call Oliver Dining Center at 785-864-4087. Students living in GSP or Corbin Halls, please call North College Café at 785-864-3120.

What does KU Dining do to promote wellness?

KU Dining Services takes a multifaceted approach to collegiate wellness and nutrition education, with one central idea in mind: allow the customer to make the most informed decision. All Residential and Retail dining facilities display nutrition education materials through monthly table tents, creative display cases, registered/licensed dietitian counseling/information sessions and featured events such as Wellness Fairs and American Dietetic Association’s National Nutrition Month® in March.


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