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Tips for Surviving the Lunch Rush

University of Notre Dame

University of Notre Dame

Nicole Derosia '17, Editor-in-Chief and Opinions Editor

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This year marked the transition from the “old method” of paying per food item to using swipes at Elmira College in the dining hall. For the upperclassmen, this has been quite a significant change. It also meant the elimination of the “To-Go” containers (though this has been resolved), and the limitation of the amount each student could spend at places like McKenzie’s and Starbucks.

This transition has been hard for my friends and me, for reasons varying between the huge cutback in food options, to the inability to eat anywhere else other than the dining hall because of the lack of flex dollars. This might be true for others as well. Between the lack of flex dollars and the hassle of getting To-Go containers, many of us resort to eating in the dining hall for lunch and dinner, and by many of us, I mean MANY of us.

The dining hall can become very crowded during the lunch hour, so here are a few tips and things to keep in mind before you go!

Try showing up five minutes earlier! My friends and I have a tradition of getting lunch together. We used to wait until 12:30 to get lunch, but would then have to deal with the crowding in the dining area. This may seem like an exaggeration, but there is a very large pole in the middle of the kitchen area, and only enough room for one person on either side. This becomes a problem when there are more than one hundred people or more there at one given time. We found that if we get there only five minutes earlier, we can avoid the rush.

Try to stay to the side. Again, there is that pesky pole. It is more of a giant support beam, really. People will sometimes surround the pole, standing on all sides of it, blocking the traffic in the kitchen. Try not to form around the pole, but in nice orderly lines off the the side, so that everyone can get in and out quickly.

We have what are called exhibition stations. They are in the sitting area of the dining hall, outside of the kitchen (with the pole). They will feature the option of the day, as well as a salad bar and a pizza bar. Those lines can get long, and they tend to block the entrance to the kitchen, as well as to the stairs where we swipe in. This is a hard one, because there really is no other place for the line to go. Try to curve the line as not to block either entrance.

Remember your manners! There are a lot of people in the dining hall; I get irritated sometimes, and so do other people! Remember to say, “Excuse me,” “Please,” and, “Thank you,” when moving among the crowd. Maybe this will help people get in and out sooner, cutting down on the wait time and the crowding, as well as the irritation.

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Tips for Surviving the Lunch Rush