By Lauren Layne and Kenzie Holbrook
The Daily Universe is answering student, staff and parents’ questions about how the coronavirus will impact the BYU community during Fall Semester 2020 in a series of stories. Submit questions at
Leer en español: ¿Cuáles son las opciones para comer en el campus?
COVID-19 has changed the way BYU students will eat and dine during Fall Semester. Guidelines are changing day by day and Dining Services is staying up to date with all of them. For more up-to-date information, visit BYU Dining Services website.
“We are working directly with the Utah County Environmental Health Department and BYU Risk Management to prioritize student safety,” said Dean Wright, director of BYU Dining Services. “We want to make sure that we are continually following the guidelines and are able to reopen safely.”
Usually, over 600 people can sit comfortably in the Cougareat, but because of COVID-19, seating has effectively been cut in half. While there will be a mixture of seating still available, the Cougareat will enforce social distancing by giving six feet of space between the back of one chair and the chair directly behind it.
Another unique feature coming to the Cougareat is a new option under the BYU app called Dining Mobile Ordering that will allow guests to order their food and pay online. This feature should decrease interaction between cashiers and guests, eliminate long lines and help decongest general traffic in the Cougareat. In front of each restaurant, there will be a screen that will show when a guest’s order is ready to be picked up.
“There will also be 14 kiosks spread out through the Wilkinson Center to order and pay for food remotely. However, with the app, you can order your food whenever and when you arrive at the Wilkinson Center, the store will start preparing your food,” Wright said.
The MOA Cafe and Jamba Juice will also use a kiosk, and a kiosk at the Blue Line Deli in the Tanner Building is also in the works. Other areas in the Wilkinson Student Center like Cosmo’s Corner and the Cougar Express will no longer be self-service. All foods will be prepackaged for safety.
For specific hours of each place at the Cougareat, visit its website.
According to its website, the Cannon Commons will be requiring reservations to dine-in and only students with meal plans can make a reservation. “Take-away meals will be available to other campus guests, and will include an entrée, sides, and a drink, beginning September 14,” the website reads. “Dine-in will become available as soon as the Cannon is able to verify the safety of all guests.”
Although dine-in is available to students with meal plans, Wright encourages students to consume their food outside of the dining facility. “We have been reworking the Cannon Commons to provide upscale foods that are packaged and ready to go. All the food is pre-plated, so guests will just have to pick up the plate and find somewhere to sit,” Wright said.
Hand sanitization stations will be located throughout the facility and dining services employees will consistently be wiping down surfaces, tables, chairs, soft drink machines and other high touch point areas.
For the Cannon Commons operating hours, visit its website.
The Pendulum Court
The Pendulum Court Cafe in the Eyring Science Center will open again for the campus community on Sept. 14. According to Elyce Gamble, a financial intern at the Pendulum Court Cafe, dine-in and takeout options will be available.
Gamble also said some changes taking place for Fall Semester include cash no longer being accepted, only takeout containers will be used (although people are still welcome to take their food and sit in the limited seating at the Pen Court), and just an overall emphasis on cleanliness and sanitization.
Because of the limited seating, the Pen Court has also reserved some tables on the third floor of the Eyring Science Center if people want to dine in.
The hours of the Pen Court Cafe will be Monday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:10 p.m. except for Tuesdays will be noon to 1 p.m.
The Wall restaurant in the Wilkinson Student Center announced its reopening via an Instagram post on Aug. 31. They are open noon to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Check @thewallbyu on Instagram for more updates.
Guests will be required to wear masks inside all dining facilities but may remove them to eat and drink.
The Creamery locations (with the exception of Helaman Halls Creamery) and the vending machines are the only locations accepting cash. Although cash is still accepted, Cougar Cash or cards are preferred at the vending machines to reduce the number of times the machine has been touched. Everywhere else has transitioned to card only.
Vending machines are usually filled every two to three days, but Dining Services officials are working with building custodians to clean and sanitize heavy touchpoints more often.