COVID-19

Our staff continues to work with the university to monitor and respond to the COVID-19 situation. We have developed an update page for our residents and their families to receive the most timely information on Campus Dining & Shops services.

COVID-19 Updates

Dining Safely on Campus

We care deeply about the health and safety of our guests, employees and vendors. UB Campus Dining operations will be modified to meet new state requirements for cleaning, social distancing, customer limits and modified indoor seating. More than 30 campus locations will be revamped. The plan includes new grab-and-go sites and mobile ordering at some retail locations. To protect public health, self-serve buffet-style service will be prohibited and plexiglass barriers have been installed at all locations.

Our Dining Locations

When you visit one of our dining locations, we strive to ensure you are as comfortable as possible. Please know that cleanliness and sanitization have always been a big part of running a robust dining service, and we already follow strict guidelines from New York State and Erie County Health Departments. However, due to the current situation, we are increasing and adding to our current supply of Centers for Disease Control (CDC) approved cleaning and sanitizing materials to ensure our staff can clean and disinfect even more thoroughly throughout the course of the day.

As circumstances surrounding COVID-19 remain very fluid, please be sure to follow official university communications. Important updates will be listed on the University website. We will also provide important dining updates on our website here and our social media channels.
Thank you for choosing to dine on campus at UB. We look forward to continuing to provide the best service to help you achieve your academic and personal goals.

Please consult the the UB COVID-19 website for additional campus FAQs.

FAQs

Dining Operations

• Will Dining be open to serve students?

Of course, and we look forward to seeing you in our Dining Centers and Retail Outlets! Along with offering some of our long-time fan favorite dishes, the UB Dining team has put their creative foot forward and will be introducing a few new menu offerings.  Options will include traditional hot and cold foods, as well as an enhanced selection of prepared grab-and-go items and microwaveable meals.

• Will every dining location be open?

Campus Dining will be operating and ready to serve students. Keep an eye on myubcard.com and our social media pages for the most up-to-date information.

As the semester progresses, we will evaluate service levels and styles and make changes as necessary.

• Will the Dining Rooms be open for seating?

Campus Dining and Shops is adhering to all New York State guidelines for dining room seating. All tables and hard surfaces will be cleaned after each use.

• What is the GET app and how do I get it?

The GET app is a mobile platform that provides convenience by linking your UB Card right to your smartphone. You can order food, add funds, even pay with your phone all with the app.

Instructions on how to get the GET app are located on our Manage GET Account page.

• Where do we find out what dining services or Campus Dining & Shops operations are being impacted?

Services such as dining may be reduced or significantly altered to limit large gatherings in campus spaces. Please refer to myubcard.com/schedule  for a complete list of dining locations and services supplied by Campus Dining & Shops. For University operations, please visit the University website.

Health & Safety

• What measures are being taken by Campus Dining to reduce the spread of the COVID-19?

  • Campus Dining and Shops, in keeping with food safety standards, will ensure that all areas in dining services will be sufficiently clean and sanitized. Staff is utilizing a product line of disinfecting cleansers which are certified by the EPA and CDC for the destruction of ARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).
  • Frequent hand washing and glove use reinforced to all staff..
  • Sneeze guards are in use at all locations.
  • Hand sanitizer stations will be available at all dining location entrances.
  • Managers on the floor at all times, helping to reinforce these practices with both staff and students.

• Are face coverings required in the dining centers

Masks are no required to be worn in many settings at UB, including dining facilities. Anyone who wishes to continue wearing a mask is welcome to do so.

• How will swiping cards be handled at the Dining locations?

UB Cards will be swiped to deduct Meals, Dining Points, Campus Cash and FlexiBULL Bucks at all locations but we strongly encourage everyone to download the GET app and use the Scan Card feature for a contactless transaction.

• Can I refill personal reusable water bottles or coffee mugs at Campus Dining & Shops locations?

Unfortunately, no. For the safety of our campus community, we must ask that all guests use the beverage containers provided by Campus Dining.

Global Supply Chain

What is it, why is it broken and how does it affect UB?

• What is the Global Supply Chain?

The global supply chain refers to the network of businesses and operations required to get products built and delivered into the hands of consumers. The links in the chain include such things as the manufacturing of components, the supply of labor, and the transportation of goods across borders, oceans, states and regions.

• What happened to the Supply Chain?

The pandemic has disrupted nearly every aspect of the global supply chain which is usually an invisible pathway of manufacturing (harvesting, processing, and packaging), transportation and logistics that gets goods from where they are manufactured, mined or grown to where they are going. Manufacturers and distributors of goods cannot produce or supply as much as they did pre-pandemic for a variety of reasons, including worker shortages, lack of key components and raw materials, and transportation challenges. Manufacturer plants are waiting for parts to increase output or repair equipment lines.

• What other factors, beside the pandemic, affect the supply chain?

Semiconductors, microchips and critical raw materials like rubber, resin, lumber, pulp, paperboard, and steel are running low. Additionally, an aluminum shortage is making canned shelf-stable products like sodas and soups to be in low supply. Climate change from hurricanes and other large storms, to droughts and wild fires, are leading to more disruptions on the supply chain. For example, production of rice in California was severely affected by the drought in that region, while the Texas deep freeze caused starch shortages.

• Where did the labor force go?

Retirements and work-from-home setups driven by the pandemic have worsened existing shortages of essential workers, including truck drivers and service industry personnel. Trucking companies are scrambling to recruit new drivers. Labor shortages are having widespread impacts across harvesting, processing, packaging, and shipping.

The restaurant industry relies on readily available labor, many of which have faded during the pandemic. Even though the labor shortage has caused significant increases in wages and benefits such as referral and sign-on bonuses along with retention money for current staff, the food and hospitality industry still have countless jobs waiting to be filled.

Many of our cooks, service employee, supervisor and managers has changed their careers, finding more reliable and less risky work in other industries, as government mandates required food operators to continue the seemingly endless cycle of closing and reopening, as well as changing on regulations.

Restaurant workers’ reasons for not returning to pre-pandemic jobs are varied. The relentless and often thankless nature of kitchen and front-of-house work, just doesn’t seem worth it now that the risks are so much higher. For front of house staff, being harassed or yelled at by rude customers, especially those who refuse to wear their masks, could mean risking their health or livelihood.

• There have been stories in the news about all the ships that are taking a long time to unload. What is is the reasoning behind that?

Currently there are an unprecedented number of ships waiting to dock at USA West and East coast’s ports. As a result, ships are unable to unload their cargo, and in some instances have to wait for weeks. Additionally, shipping containers are in short supply which had caused a significant cost increase. Before the pandemic, the cost of shipping a container from China to the United States was less than $5,000. In August 2021, the cost of shipping the same container to the West Coast of the United States hit a record $20,586, almost twice what it cost in July, which was twice what it cost in January.

• What steps are being taken by CDS to help mitigate the impact to guests?

  • Trying to increase and incentivize labor in all our operations
  • Leveraging our relationships with distributors to maintain a consistent supply of ingredients and paper/chemical supplies
  • Maximizing the production capacity at our commissary facility and increasing the number of Grab & Go items delivered to our locations
  • Increasing our back-up and emergency supplies