Dining Changes Offer Variety, Flexibility for Students

Dining partners offer fresh, healthy options.

District House, which opened Saturday, will host five fast-casual restaurants. (GW Today file photo)
District House, which opened Saturday, will host five fast-casual restaurants. (GW Today file photo)
August 29, 2016

This year, the George Washington University’s enhanced dining program will provide students the flexibility to use their Dining Cash at more than 90 dining and grocery partners on and around campus, including six new vendors that will open on a rolling basis throughout the fall in the university’s new residence hall District House.

The university announced in June that five fast-casual restaurants—Beef ’n’ Bread, Chick-fil-A, GRK Fresh Greek, Sol Mexican Grill and Wiseguy NY Pizza—will lease retail spaces on the lower level of District House. Peet’s Coffee & Tea will also open a retail space on the building’s ground floor next to the Eye Street entrance.

In anticipation of these venues’ rolling openings, beginning Monday, District House will feature a daily lunch option on the B1 level from District House restaurants and other dining partners as part of “District Days.” Until some or all of the residence hall’s venues are open, District Days will continue every weekday from noon to 2 p.m. on a first-come, first-serve basis and requires GWorld for payment.

A grab-and-go convenience store, dubbed George’s Market, will also open across from Colonial Central on the lower level of the Marvin Center in mid-September. The space formerly occupied by J Street is closed for renovations, and planning is underway for a new food option in this space.

On the Mount Vernon Campus, a new dining and catering provider, Restaurant Associates, operates Pelham Commons at West Hall and the Higher Grounds Coffee Shop at Ames Hall. Students dining at Pelham Commons will find a variety of culinary stations, including made-from-scratch salads; paninis; pasta; made-to-order fish, steak and chicken; regional dishes; breakfast; healthy snacks; and hot and cold beverages. The popular all-you-care-to-eat Sunday Brunch kicks off on Sept. 4.

Restaurant Associates will also provide for campus catering needs on the Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon campuses.

Dining Cash, which is required for all resident students at varying amounts depending on their class year, can now be used to purchase food at any of GW’s food, grocery and dining partners. CVS, 7-Eleven, and snack/beverage vending machines, where many students find low-cost food and grocery items, also accept Dining Cash. These funds do not expire and unused money rolls over from year to year.

All non-food purchases made at retail partners, including at campus stores (such as the GW Bookstore), and GWorld non-food retail partners, must be made with Colonial Cash, which students may voluntarily add to their GWorld cards. Based on feedback from students, Dining Cash may be used for campus printing and residence hall laundry facility purchases when a student does not have Colonial Cash available.

A newly launched dining website includes information on GW’s dining plans as well as tips on where to eat and how to plan meals depending on a student’s diet preferences and needs.

“We want to provide students with a really flexible, personalized dining program that is responsive to the concerns we heard about variety and availability of affordable options,” said Alicia Knight, senior associate vice president of operations. “With our new dining plan, students with different tastes, preferences and dietary restrictions will have a wide variety of choices. It will give students a dining plan that meets them where they are and lets them get the most mileage out of their Dining Cash.”

Finding dining options and adding Dining Cash or Colonial Cash is also easier this year with GET, an online system and mobile app. Students can log on or download the app for dining partner menus, locations, hours, mobile ordering, payment and lost card reporting, as well as to add funds and review transactions.

The university strives to support students in their pursuit of healthy and sustainable food choices. Vendors throughout the dining program offer healthy choices for students that meet nearly all health and dietary needs. The university also continues to provide education to students on healthy eating and lifestyle choices through a combination of programs and web-based resources. The university’s Food Institute and Urban Food Task Force are also active in healthy and sustainable foods as well as food policy and research endeavors.

Follow GW Dining @gwdining and learn more on the new Dining website.