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Liberty News

Liberty Dining to follow COVID-19 regulations while working to give students stellar dining experience this fall

July 24, 2020 : Jacob Couch/Liberty News Service

As Liberty University prepares for the Fall 2020 semester to begin next month, its Sodexo dining services team has been hard at work to ensure that students are afforded the best dining experience possible while abiding by COVID-19 health and social distancing regulations. 

“Since March, our dining team has been steadily working to create and refine these policies as we continue to monitor the updates from the CDC, federal, and state government,” said Sodexo District Manager Duke Davis. “We’re confident that we have a great plan moving forward this upcoming school year.” 

The campus’s dining regulations will align with those incorporated last spring when Liberty moved its classes online, but indoor seating will now be available, in a limited capacity. Indoor and outdoor tables will be spaced out and signs will continue to mark all of the dining location’s floors so that students waiting for their food will stand six feet apart. 

[Watch the video for more information on dining changes and upgrades for the fall] 

All Sodexo employees will have their temperatures taken prior to their shifts and they will be required to wear a mask and gloves. Students will order food behind clear panels, shielding them from the employees. 

The plan will include some exciting new additions such as the arrival of Grubhub, an app that students can download to their phone to pre-order meals from any location on campus (with the exception of the Food Court at Reber-Thomas, Liberty’s main dining hall). After ordering, students will then be able to arrive at the dining location and pass the line to pick up their order at the carry-out counter. 

Every dining location on campus will allow up to 50-percent capacity, which may create longer lines, but Davis said that he and his team are hopeful that Grubhub will limit wait times. 

Liberty’s 25 on-campus dining locations will drop to 23 in the fall as the Tilley’s Fresh Market buffet and East Campus’s Hilltop Pizza, next to Doc’s Diner, will no longer be offered. In Hilltop’s stead, Doc’s Diner will be using the extra space to create a Doc’s take-out food area. 

Davis said that due to the success of the take-out option this past spring, Reber-Thomas will offer a take-out-only area of the dining hall, which students will be able to access by entering a side door to the building. 

“This will give students the option to come in and pick up a meal and take it back to their dorm,” Davis said. 

For both the eat-in and take-out options, all utensils will be given to students in a plastic bag. Additional hand-sanitizing stations will be added to all locations and employees will increase the frequency of sanitizing countertops and tables. 

The self-service stations at Reber-Thomas have been removed (including the salad bar) and all food will be served to students by employees. 

Liberty encourages students to continue to check Liberty’s Dining website for dining updates as the Fall 2020 semester approaches.




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