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Cooper Balfour, a freshman from Karratha, Australia, enjoys the salad bar in Thomas University’s first-ever dining hall, located inside the Pinetree Residence Hall.


Thomas University opens dining hall

By Joshua Barrett, Student Writer


The start of spring semester brought more than just new class schedules for Thomas University students. It also brought the opening of TU’s first-ever dining hall and TU’s first meal plan.

Located inside the Pinetree Residence Hall, located at 126 S. Pinetree Boulevard, the new dining facility opened its doors on Monday, Jan. 8. Breakfast is served from 7:15 a.m. to 9:15 a.m., and supper runs from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Meals are also available to all TU students, faculty and staff.  

The meal plan and dining hall were created based on student recommendations.

“This meal plan – which provides nutrition, quality, quantity and variety – is already a success for two reasons,” said Dr. Robert Bohman, TU’s Vice President for Student Life. “One, the meal plan was a proposal made by our students in focus group settings, so the idea of a meal plan was a direct result of our students’ input. Two, we have received great reviews from our students living in the Pinetree Residence Hall in terms of both quality and variety of food being served. The current meal plan calls for serving 10 all-you-can-eat meals per week for breakfast and dinner Monday through Friday. Our students have already provided us with great ideas on how to improve on the existing plan. We have already begun investigating ways to implement some of their ideas.”

The food is served by MMI Dining Systems, which is based in Wesley Chapel, Florida.

“They specialize in food service operations especially for smaller universities,” Bohman said. “With their assistance, we are able to offer an extremely competitive meal plan to our students.”

Byron Lee is MMI’s service director at TU who oversees the dining hall’s daily operations.

“The interactions with the students are enjoyable,” Lee said. “Since we began I’ve spent most of my time here; it’s like a second home.”

A weekly menu of what’s being served in the dining hall is posted in the Pinetree Residence Hall and on TU’s website in the Student Life section. Students can choose from an entrée, side dishes and a salad bar. Breakfast foods are also available at both times.

Cooper Balfour, a TU freshman from Karratha, Australia, regularly eats in the dining hall.

“I believe it’s a fantastic idea,” he said. “I love the food that is served, and I think it’s a great time for us to wind down and spend time with the other residents.”

Students without a meal plan may purchase dining hall meal tickets for $8, which includes tax.

The Hawk’s Nest, a café on TU’s Forbes Campus, remains open as a convenient location near most classes. The Hawk’s Nest continues to serve breakfast, lunch and supper Monday through Thursday.



Victor Dos Santos, a freshman from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, enjoys a meal in the TU’s new dining hall.

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