Are students required to have a meal plan, or can I have a housing contract only?
A Resident Meal Plan is a required part of the Housing and Dining Financial Contract, except for students not subject to the Freshman Live In Requirement (FLIR), described in WAC 504-24-030, and living in McEachern or Orton Halls. Additionally, a student who has sophomore standing or above (Running Start credits are not counted), and has attended WSU for at least 1 year, may choose not to participate in a plan.
Can I eat in the Dining Services facilities if I live off-campus?
Yes! All Dining Services facilities on campus accept Mini Meal Plan Dining Dollars, Cougar CASH, and debit and credit.
Can I use my meal plan in the campus markets and espresso bars?
Yes. With a Resident Meal Plan or Mini Meal Plan, students can make purchases at a variety of dining locations.
You will receive the best value at our three dining centers, which offer the largest discounts for meal plan holders. For this reason, we recommend you purchase the majority of your meals at the centers. These locations are:
- Hillside Café
- Northside Café
- Southside Café
For more occasional purchases, you can also choose from a variety of on-campus dining options that offer a smaller discount. These locations include:
- Carlita's Mexican Grille
- Freshëns Fresh Food Studio at the Chinook
- Coug Eats late-night delivery to residence halls
- Southside Market & Espresso
- The Market on Cougar Way
- Einstein Bros. Bagels
- Lighty Espresso
- Northside Espresso
- Starbucks (located in the Spark Building)
What type of meal plan discount will I receive at Hillside Café, Northside Café, and Southside Café?
With a Resident Meal Plan, you will receive a 40% discount when you dine at our three dining centers:
- Hillside Café
- Northside Café
- Southside Café
Individuals with the Mini Meal Plan will receive a 25% discount in the three dining centers.
Do my Dining Dollars carry over from one semester to the next semester?
Resident Meal Plan Dining Dollars will be carried over from fall semester to spring and from spring to the following fall only if you stay in the residence hall system and purchase a meal plan. Since the Resident Meal Plan is not accepted in the summer, the balance is not carried over from spring semester to summer semester.
Mini Meal Plan Dining Dollars expire at the end of the eligible year (the Saturday following spring commencement) and do not roll over to the following fall.
What are the hours of operation for Dining Services during breaks and holidays?
Northside Café, Hillside Café and Southside Café are closed during official school breaks, such as Thanksgiving, semester break, and spring break. During academic breaks, some limited dining options are available on campus. For the most up to date information regarding break hours, please refer to dining.wsu.edu/hours.
What dining options does Dining Services offer?
Hillside Café, Northside Café, and Southside Café serve a full range of great tasting, wholesome foods. Menus vary and include familiar items, as well as bold flavors inspired by cuisines from around the world. Customizable, cooked-to-order options are always available. This can include made-to-order grilled sandwiches, omelets, pizza, deli sandwiches, grain bowls, and wraps. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-friendly options are available at most stations.
Is there food available outside standard meal times?
While not all options are available at all times, there are a variety of food items available throughout the day. Bites Grab and Go items are available at the espresso bars and markets. Late Night delivery or pick up options are available using Dining Services' GET app or its mobile-friendly website.
How do I get the most value out of my meal plan?
The dining centers extend a 40% discount on all purchases made with the Resident Meal Plan. Dining at Hillside Café, Northside Café and Southside Café will provide the most purchasing power from your Dining Dollars. While Dining Dollars also accepted at markets, espresso bars, Flix, Einstein Bagels, and Carlita's, these locations offer a 10% discount and should be occasional purchases. For individuals on the Mini Meal Plan, the discount is 25% in the dining centers, and 5% in other operations.
How can I find out what is on the menu?
Some options at the dining centers can be ordered online with the GET app. You can use the app to view daily menus and order. You can also use the GET app to view menus and order from other campus dining locations.
Some options will also be offered as a walk-up service. Each dining facility has a combination of digital and posted menus in the units. Additionally, daily menus are available on each dining center webpage:
Are there opportunities for employment with Dining Services?
Yes! Dining Services is proud to be the largest employer of students on campus. We have a variety of employment opportunities available to students. You can browse open positions and submit applications online via Handshake or apply through our website! You may also print applications and submit them to any manager at any dining services facility.
Are there options available if I have dietary restrictions?
Dining Services provides a wide variety of food to meet individual nutritional needs and preferences. Many options can be customized to be vegetarian, vegan, or gluten friendly. All Top 8 allergens are labeled, and the Natural station is offered as an allergen-friendly and gluten-friendly platform. If you have questions or concerns about nutrition or special diets, our staff dietitian is available for individual diet counseling, group discussions, and presentations. Contact Alice Ma, Dining Service's registered dietitian, at (509) 335-4785.
What Dining Services facility can I use if I have a physical disability?
All of the residence dining facilities are ADA accessible.
Can I order catering, cakes, or cookies for special events?
Anyone can order special cakes or catering from Dining Services. Just contact the Catering Scheduler at 509-335-3570. Additionally, cakes can be ordered online for pickup in as little as two days.
How do I access the money in my dining account and find out what my balance is?
Each time you use your CougarCard or the GET app to purchase food with your meal plan, the purchase is deducted from your account and the register will show you the balance left on your account. You can also use GET to quickly check your balance and add funds if needed. You can also log in to your account on My WSU, select 'finances' from the navigation menu, and click on 'view activity' under your account.
How do I add money to my dining account?
You can find a list of options to add Dining Dollars to your account on our website. Note that adding Dining Dollars is not an option for those who have a Mini Meal Plan.
How do I reduce/increase my meal plan level?
Students on the Resident Meal Plan select one dining account level on their Housing and Dining Contract application. If you find you have selected the wrong level, you can change your dining account level. You must change it before the end of the eighth week of classes each semester. Please keep in mind, changing your meal plan will change your payment schedule.
The Mini Meal Plan does not include tiers or levels. Individuals may choose to purchase multiple Mini Meal Plans during a year.
Which Resident Meal Plan level should I choose?
We suggest that you make your decision based on how often you plan to eat in the residence dining facilities, how often you plan to use your Dining Dollars in the markets and espresso bars, what kind of food you plan to eat (items are individually priced), and how often you plan to go home on weekends. Level 2 is the most commonly selected account level. You can reference this resource on choosing a meal plan level and this guide to planning your spending.
What are Dining Dollars and how can I use them?
When you select a Resident Meal Plan dining account level on your Housing and Dining contract, a portion of the cost is allocated to overhead and the remainder becomes spendable Dining Dollars. The Mini Meal Plan comes with $200 Dining Dollars.
You can use your Dining Dollars to purchase food from our campus dining locations. Most items are offered a la carte or pay per item. When a purchase is made, the amount is debited from your account.
How many meals do I receive per week?
Meal plans do not operate on a per-meal basis. You receive Dining Dollars that you can use in any dining facility. Each item is individually priced, so the number of meals your funds cover is determined by how many times you eat in the residence dining facilities, the price of the items, how often you use the markets and espresso bars, and, for Resident Meal Plans, the dining account level you choose on your Housing and Dining Contract application.
What if I have Dining Dollars left over at the end of the semester?
If you have Dining Dollars left in your dining account, you can use your remaining funds to purchase grocery items in the campus markets. You may also donate your remaining funds to students in need through the Cougs Feeding Cougs Program.
Additionally, you can contact Dining Service managers for assistance in making larger-quantity food purchases.
Remember, your account balance will be carried over from fall semester to spring semester, and from spring semester to fall semester, ONLY if you stay in the residence hall system and purchase a meal plan. Since the Resident Meal Plan is not accepted in the summer, your balance is not carried over from spring semester to summer semester. You may also choose to carry over your account balance by purchasing a Mini Meal Plan.
Will I be able to pay for a guest to eat in the Dining Services facilities?
You can pay for a guest's meal in the Dining Centers with your meal plan as long as you accompany the guest to the cash register. The account holder is the only one who can use their dining account. Mini Meal Plan Dining Dollars and Cougar CASH are also accepted in all Dining Services facilities, including the residence Dining Centers and campus markets, Dining Services espresso bars, and Carlita's Mexican Grille.
I lost my CougarCard. Can I still use my meal plan to eat?
Yes. You can use the GET app to pay with your mobile device, or you can see a Dining Services manager at any dining center to obtain a Temporary Meal Pass. Temporary Meal Passes are valid for one business day (and if you lose your CougarCard on Friday, a Temporary Meal Pass will be valid through Monday), so you'll need to replace your CougarCard ASAP. You will have instant access to your dining account on your replacement CougarCard. Keep your CougarCard safe! Only three Temporary Meal Passes are allowed per semester.
Can I use Cougar CASH at the dining locations?
Yes. Students, staff, faculty, and community members can pay at WSU dining locations using Cougar CASH. It is the convenient, cashless way to pay at the area's most popular businesses and services on and near campus. View the CougarCard website for more information about Cougar CASH.
Who should I contact if I have questions about my dining account?
If you have general questions about how the account works, hours of operation, and where it can be used, please contact Dining Services at (509) 335-5498 or email@example.com. If you have financial questions about your account, please contact Housing and Dining Financial Services at (509) 335-8625 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.