Texas Tech University

Mailbag: Let's Go Dining

Allen Ramsey

July 28, 2023

We’re talking about food, so please enjoy.

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Welcome back to the Mailbag!

After a very brief hiatus (vacation is never long enough), we're back and ready to roll.

Today we're going to talk about food and, like any good Texan, it's a favorite topic. Especially after spending a few days north of the wall (Alaska) where they wanted to take all my monies for a piece of halibut that probably wouldn't have kept my six-month-old puppy fed for more than an hour…. But I digress. 

Pick a Plan

Back to talking about food we care about. 

Specifically, we're going to talk about eating on the campus of Texas Tech University

Throughout the fall semester, some of my friends here in the Office of Communications & Marketing are going to get their fancy-pants filmography equipment out and take you around our lovely campus showing off some of the new eateries. We'll save many of the details for them to share, but here's a very quick overview. 

In total, there are 17 physical locations on campus to get some grub, and those places offer about 50 different options for the tired and hungry souls out looking for sustenance.

Use Your Plan

From Mediterranean cuisine to pizza to sandwiches and coffee, the food options are wide open and continue to grow. Sometimes we even get the best chef in Texas to show up and do a little cooking.

For most of our loyal Mailbag readers, this won't be news. If you're reading this, we'll work from the assumption that you're familiar with campus and can probably point to a few eat'em-up joints you like to use already. 

Like many of you, we've drifted to more than a couple of the spots on campus for one reason or another and found ourselves pleasantly pleased with the grub we've received. 

Best Value

So, when a social media post last week mentioned dining plans, we naturally (and rather selfishly) wanted to know more about the benefits of such plans and how obtaining one could lead to more delicious foods entering our tummies. 

We reached out to a couple of friends over in hospitality services to get the skinny on how the plans work and who all can get them. 

As it turns out, there's a plan for everyone. 

Students living on campus will be familiar with the dining plans, which are required. There are four different plans for those living on campus, including one specifically for West Village, and you can find some more information on those here

Manage Your Plan

But, after looking into it, commuter students and, we're happy to say, faculty and staff, can all benefit from the dining plans. 

“The on-campus plan is required for students who are living on campus, so we've had an opportunity to touch base with them there,” said Dee Nguyen, a manager over in hospitality services. “But we'd like to really reach our commuter and faculty/staff audiences. 

“With those plans, commuters or faculty and staff get a 15% discount at all hospitality locations. So, if a commuter student or faculty/staff member is purchasing in our locations with cash, debit or credit card, they're really missing out on savings. Just by having the dining plan, they can get 15% off that cup of coffee in the morning, that mid-afternoon snack, lunch, or dinner in our facilities while they're here.”

Map

With just a small amount of calculating, we determined that 15% of our eating budget would amount to more than a few bucks. We asked a couple more questions to look for the catch. 

Turns out, there's really not much of one. 

There is a very small transaction fee – small enough that one meal in you're probably breaking close to even – for each time you add money to your dining plan. But the plan available to commuter students, faculty and staff allows users to load between $50 and $300 at a time. 

And that's not all. When you register for a plan you can also download the app Transact, which allows for mobile ordering from any of these locations. On top of that, toss in the promo code TTU100 when you sign up on the app and you'll get $3 off your first purchase of more than $7, immediately making up for that pesky transaction fee for loading up a dining plan. 

Ok, this is starting to sound like a sales pitch, but honestly, we get excited when saving money and eating yummy foods cross the same path.

So, instead of pushing more of our own thoughts, we'll hand this over to Alan Cushman, the associate director of marketing for hospitality services, to explain why he thinks people should take advantage of the dining plans. 

“I kind of always look at it from a convenience factor for guests, because whether you're a student living on campus, a commuter student, or faculty and staff, when you use a dining plan, it's often quicker to get through the lines,” Cushman said. “Everybody is pressed for time, and when you use a dining plan it's a very seamless transaction. 

“If people are just looking to save a little bit of time, a dining plan can help speed that up. And again, I think the biggest thing we always try to stress is back to savings. You know, as long as an employee is employed at Texas Tech, the dining plan just rolls over. And for commuter plans, as long as they're enrolled at Texas Tech, the money rolls over.”   


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