Cashless campus brings change to dining, Sodexo transition continues

Nov. 3, 2014

Eleanor Skelton
[email protected]

Hard cash may no longer be helpful if you want to purchase food on campus.

Dining Services has implemented a new “Cashless Campus” policy, effective Nov. 3, for certain stations.

According Mark Hayes, director of Food Services, who is engineering the transition from Sodexo, the Dwire Hall, Columbine Hall and University Hall stations will only be accepting debit and credit cards and Munch Money.

The Lodge went cashless over the summer. Other locations, such as Café 65, Coffee @ UC and Clyde’s still accept cash.

“Less than 25 percent of all transactions in Dining and Food Services are paid for with cash,” Hayes said.

Hayes indicated that reducing wait time in line was a factor in the decision.

“In the coffee shops where cashless has most recently been implemented, we know that most students, faculty and staff want fast service,” Hayes said. “Processing cashless transactions on the whole is faster than processing cash transactions.”

Hayes also believes not having a cash drawer is more secure.

“These coffee shop locations do not have adequate areas for the secure handling of cash funds and cash deposits by our student employees, and we consider student employee welfare to be paramount,” he said. Hayes addressed the concern that not accepting cash would be illegal.

“My understanding is that federal legal tender laws require payment be denominated in dollars, but does not require that the merchant must accept cash,” he said. “Consider airlines and how most no longer accept cash for payment in flight.”

Hayes encouraged a transition to Munch Money.

“Students, faculty and staff wishing to use cash can pre-load funds via the Munch Money program, [which] can be set up for anyone with an active UCCS I.D. card, and Munch Money comes with the benefit of earning bonus funds for additional food purchases,” he said.

Munch Money can be loaded at the University Center front desk, while housing will load money on to student accounts if they live on campus.

Hayes believes the overall transition from Sodexo has been smooth.

“There are no financial difficulties,” he said. “Our primary focus is building a great dining program on campus by leveraging all available resources in order to provide high quality food at the lowest prices possible.”

Comparing the fall 2014 Clyde’s menu to the fall 2013 version under Sodexo, the number of items on the menu is generally fewer for each category, but new items are now offered.

There are six starter items instead of ten, and four sides now compared to eight.

UCCS Dining Services replaced chili fries, Clyde’s Philly, fish and chips, and loaded nachos with five salad options and new features like Black Bean Burger Sliders, Sausage Sliders, Baja fish tacos and several sandwiches on focaccia bread from Old School Bakery at Ivywild.

The average price change per menu item for entrees and beers was $0.66. Four items increased in price, two remained the same and 19 decreased.

“Keep in mind that when you compare fall ’13 Clyde’s menu to fall ’14, had Sodexo still been here they would have likely increased menu prices three to five percent because the cost of food goes up every year,” Hayes said.

Hayes said Dining Services still plans to form a student naming committee to replace the generic names like Coffee @ UC “in the coming months.”