Students Get Options: Meal Exchange Program
Students have more options for eating this semester, thanks to additional meal swipes allotted to each student due to a concept called “the meal exchange.” General Manager of the Dining Team, Mike Mahaffey, came up with the idea. The meal exchange allows students to have the option once a week to use their meal swipe at any of Sodexo’s retail locations on campus, such as Chick-Fil-A, Papa Johns and Starbucks. Stipulations include that the students can only use the meal swipe for select combos chosen by facilities.
Additionally, the meal exchange excludes use at Einstein Bros. Bagels, located beside Papa Johns. Braves Place is where the idea came from because students were able to exchange a swipe for a to-go sandwich or salad, chips or cookie and a fountain drink. Having the option to exchange your meal swipe once a week gives students a total of 16 exchanges for the whole semester. This idea has been found helpful in several ways. One way is that whoever has a meal plan and no flex dollars attached can partake in meals from the retail restaurants located on campus once a week, giving students the opportunity to save some of their flex dollars if they have them. Students who don’t have time to sit and eat in the dining hall can grab food, get to where they need to be and satisfy their hunger. “Even though this is the first semester of trying out the meal exchange system, it will be continuous from this point on,” Sodexo’s Unit Marketing Coordinator Shiheem Bryant said. Several students were asked their opinion on the meal exchange option. “I enjoy the concept of the meal exchange, but I feel like we should have the option to have more meal exchanges weekly,” said sophomore Stanari Ballard. Another student said, “It’s good because if someone ran out of flex they could go somewhere else in case the cafe was closed. Three exchange swipes would be better for future reference.”