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Sept. 8, 2011 Volume 33, No. 3

New dining options, meal plans offered for faculty and staff


Asian eatery celebrates Grand Opening today

Campus Dining Services now offers faculty and staff meal plans that can be used at any of MU’s residential all-you-care-to-eat and a la carte restaurants.

Meals can be purchased in blocks of 25 for $187.50, which works out to $7.50 per meal. This is $1 less than the price of a meal bought separately at one of the four buffet-style facilities — Mark Twain Market, Pavilion at Dobbs, Plaza 900 and Rollins.

At the a la carte locations, Baja Grill and the new Sabai, menu items are priced proportionately, and only deducted as portions of a meal. For instance, a banh mi sandwich at Sabai would be priced at a little more than half the cost of one meal under the dining plan.

Michael Wuest, marketing manager of Campus Dining Services, said the new plan was created to encourage faculty and staff to take advantage of dining options within walking distance of their offices. Although non-students are welcome to eat at the residential restaurants, Wuest said their patronage has been rare.

“There is a lot of convenience to eating on campus,” Wuest said. “There is so much variety; there is always something for everyone.”

Wuest said campus dining is a great way for faculty to interact with their students, but there are also private dining rooms in Rollins and Plaza 900 that can be reserved for meetings.  The popularity of Baja Grill and the opening of Sabai were factors in Campus Dining’s decision to offer the meal plan.

“We have a lot of great restaurants on campus,” he said.

Sabai had a soft launch in August before classes started, but will hold a grand opening today from 1-4 p.m. The Southeast Asian restaurant, which is located in Johnston Hall, will offer tastings of Thai chicken curry, fried rice with beef and banh mi sliders.

Campus Dining has also started offering nutritional information for meals served in both residential and retail restaurants via a new online tool called Zoutrition. The website allows visitors to build their own meal and filter out items based on allergy or dietary restrictions.

Zoutrition was two years in the making, Wuest said, but it’s already one of the most visited links on the department’s website.

“Zoutrition is a great tool for those with dietary or nutritional needs, or if you have certain food allergy restrictions,” he said.

— Megan Cassidy