July 17, 2020

Wayne State University charts path to safe dining, retail experience

Wayne State University’s housing, dining and retail restart subcommittee has been working diligently to ensure that campus dining and retail locations are as safe and stress-free as possible for students, faculty and staff.

In accordance, face coverings must be properly worn in order to enter all food service or retail areas on campus. Face coverings may be removed once seated to dine, but must be put back on when leaving the dining table. All dining seating areas will be sanitized between users in the dining halls. All retail locations on campus have received this recommendation and are working to implement in their spaces, said Alex MacKenzie, director of WSU Dining Services. 

“We are also working to emphasize contactless transactions for meal plan swipes and OneCard purchases,” said MacKenzie. “In some locations, we are also exploring self-service kiosks where possible.”

New procedures to accommodate diners while protecting safety can be found below and are available on Housing and Residential Life’s coronavirus website:

  • "Scramble-style" dining in the dining halls will be reduced. Entrees, side dishes and desserts will be present at all stations to reduce traveling between food stations and tables.
  • The number of diners present in Towers Café, Gold 'n' Greens, and the Student Center Food Court will be reduced to support physical distancing.
  • "To-go" meals will be available during all meal periods. An additional residential dining "to-go" location will be opened in the Student Center for residents who choose not to visit a dining hall.
The Towers Residential Suites and Café dining is receiving a facelift that includes a 5,500-square-foot expansion into the adjacent courtyard. This renovation adds more than 300 seats — optimal for increased social distancing — as well as an outdoor patio for guests.

Those returning to campus will notice that the Towers Residential Suites and Café dining is receiving a facelift that includes a 5,500-square-foot expansion into the adjacent courtyard. This renovation adds more than 300 seats — optimal for increased social distancing — as well as an outdoor patio for guests. Built in 2005, “Towers,” as it is known, houses dining, residential and office space. The building also contains Towers Café, one of two residential dining facilities on campus.

Auxiliary dining locations on campus with affiliations to national chains are incorporating MIOSHA and CDC recommendations — and in some cases, exceeding them — into their operations to keep the campus community Warrior Safe. 

Some restaurants such as Shield’s Pizza, Savant Restaurant, Delite Café and Fourteen East Cafe — all in Wayne State University-owned buildings — are already open for business and look forward to serving the campus community, said Nicole Jackson, associate director of real estate and asset management for Wayne State.

“All of the locations are following state and local guidelines for the health and safety of customers, which includes wearing a face covering while inside the establishment, offering outside patio seating and adhering to social-distancing measures,” Jackson said. “Please stop in, say ‘hi,’ grab a bite or take out a meal. Our campus retailers would love to see some Warriors.”

Visitors entering the Wayne State University Bookstore must also follow the same safety protocols required throughout campus. The bookstore is currently open Monday thru Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and hours will be extended closer to the start of the semester. The store’s cafe will open at the start of the semester and will offer to-go services, with a limited amount of community seating available in the cafe area. 

“As with all university buildings, we require a face covering worn properly secured over your nose and mouth while in the bookstore. We ask that you practice physical distancing while shopping, and we have provided hand-sanitizing stations throughout the building,” said Wayne State Bookstore General Manager Jodi Young. “We also ask that customers complete the WSU Campus Daily Screener and select the bookstore as a campus location you intend to visit for your safety and the safety of our staff.”