Pitt Eats ‘firmly committed’ to providing a high-quality dining experience

Pitt+Eats+and+the+University+dining+contractor%2C+Compass%2C+want+to+create+a+dining+experience+that+students+will+enjoy.

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Pitt Eats and the University dining contractor, Compass, want to create a dining experience that students will enjoy.

By Donata Massimiani, For The Pitt News

The diverse student population at Pitt needs a wide variety of menu options at campus dining locations. Compass, the University’s dining contractor, wants to provide a dining experience that all students can enjoy.

Pitt began a partnership with Compass, a British multinational food company, in July 2020. Meredith Rosenberg, a Compass spokesperson, said the company hopes to reinvent the dining experience by creating initiatives that help students take charge of their nutrition and wellness.

“Pitt Eats is committed to providing a memorable dining experience driven by bringing people together to create relationships and a feeling of community through student choice and preferences,” Rosenberg said.

Pitt offers Meal memberships that students choose from when filling out the online housing and dining application. It is required for all students living in residence halls to purchase a meal membership. Pitt students living off campus or in University apartment-style accommodations are allowed to purchase a meal membership, but are not required to do so.

The University offers three categories of meal memberships. First-year memberships offer five plans for students to choose from. All of the first-year plans provide unlimited access to the Eatery and the Perch — the two buffet-style dining halls — but vary in amount of dining dollars. Upper-class memberships can choose between three plans and off-campus memberships offer four options.

Besides meal memberships, other payment options are available, such as dining dollars and Panther funds.

Panther funds are another form of payment accepted at all on-campus dining locations and are a “safe” alternative to carrying around cash or a debit card, according to Panther Central’s website. Students can load funds onto their Panther card online, in person at Panther Central, over the phone, through a cash management center or by mail.

Dining dollars are another form of payment accepted at on-campus dining locations. Most meal memberships come with a set amount of dining dollars, and extra can be purchased through Panther Central. Meal swipes are only accepted at the Eatery, the Perch and the Residence Inn. 

The Eatery is located on the bottom floor of Litchfield Towers. With nine different stations, there is something to satisfy every student’s diet, including allergen-friendly, gluten free, vegan, vegetarian and Halal options. The Eatery is open from 7 a.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday. Hours of operation run from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Fridays, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays and 9 a.m. to midnight on Sundays.

The Perch is located in Sutherland Hall on upper campus. There are five different food stations which offer vegan and vegetarian options. Hours of operation start at 7 a.m. and end at 10 p.m. every Monday through Thursday. The Perch is closed on Fridays and open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

Cash, credit card, dining dollars and meal swipes are all accepted as payment at both the Eatery and Perch.

Rosenberg said inclusivity within the dining experience is very important to Compass. Pitt Eats works to provide varied menu selections that accommodate all students’ diets. They are in ongoing conversations with different student organizations such as the Muslim and Pakistani student associations, as well as Student Government Board’s dining task force.

SGB operates a dining task force that works to address students’ dining concerns, according to the SGB website. Meetings are also held consistently between dining staff and SGB to address concerns. The dining task force met for the first time this semester last Friday. They will officially begin working on new business items this week. 

Another part of dining packages are meal exchanges. A meal exchange allows students to exchange a meal swipe for a meal at any on-campus dining location, such as Twisted Mac and True Burger.  Students are permitted to use one meal exchange per day, unless they have the “foodie” meal membership, which permits two.

Rosenberg said multiple new dining locations opened on campus this semester. Saxby’s Coffee opened two locations in the Cathedral of Learning and Hillman Library, and The Hub at Posvar — a pop-up dining location on the Posvar Hall patio — offers Smokeland BBQ, Paper Lantern and Melt Lab.

Other new dining locations that students can look forward to include PA Taco Co. and Wicked Pie, which will open in the William Pitt Union’s Schenley Cafe this fall.

Rosenberg said Compass is consistently developing and implementing new technologies to improve the overall dining experience. She added that the company integrates itself in the local community by developing partnerships and utilizing responsible sourcing.

“We focus on the overall dining experience by emphasizing high-quality food, innovative offerings and exceptional service,” Rosenberg said. “We are firmly committed to providing balanced, nutritious food options that fit every diet.”

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