Montclair State continue to provide on-campus dining services with health and safety precautions in place. These precautions include social distancing, occupancy reductions, frequent cleaning and sanitizing, required use of face coverings (and gloves, for staff), physical barriers, and other measures to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

During Stage 1, the University closed nearly all of its dining locations, except for one that remained open to feed residential students and essential employees with pre-packaged “grab and go” takeout service.

Based on occupancy numbers and the layout of the dining space, the University opened up to 12 dining venues on campus for the Fall semester.  All other venues remain closed.


  • Seven retail outlets will be closed, due to fewer students and employees on campus, as well as insufficient space to ensure social distancing for all customers.
  • Two retail outlets will have reduced and/or altered hours.
  • One retail outlet will become pre-order and pick up only to avoid lines and crowding.
  • The Blanton Food Court has no self-serve options; and two operations were removed to allow for greater social distancing.  Three options, well-spaced from each other, will remain open.
  • Dining Halls in the residence halls will offer “grab and go” service. There will be no buffets or self-serve areas. Students will continue to be encouraged to order meals in advance through GrubHub, but in-person ordering remains possible.
  • Tents were set-up to create temporary outdoor dining areas at the Blanton Courtyard, Student Center Quad and Student Center Annex created.
  • Consistent with Executive Order 175 indoor dining was permitted, with social distancing and other safeguards in place.

During Stage 3, the University may continue to expand or retrack dining services to meet the needs of the campus community. It will continue to practice the safeguards and protocols described below.

Regardless of which stage the State is in, the University will work closely with its food service provider, Chartwells, to implement, evaluate, and where needed, revise its protocols to fit the most current guidance. Food service models will be adjusted as permitted or required by State regulations along with population movement and demands.

At all campus dining locations, the following general safeguards will be implemented:

  • Customers are encouraged to place their food orders in advance online, to reduce lines and congestion points at entrances and serving locations.
  • Take-out service remain a critical option, in addition to dine-in options.
  • Students and employees can use GrubHub to place take-out orders in advance.
  • Touchless payment processes have been installed throughout all campus dining.
  • Dine-in occupancy is limited, not to exceed the capacity permitted by the State of New Jersey at any given time. If indoor dining is not permitted, the University will provide outdoor seating areas and take-out options.
  • Only single-use plates, utensils and drinkware will be provided. When appropriate, formal dinnerware will be reintroduced to the dining program.
  • All customer self-serve areas and buffets have been discontinued.
  • Coffee or tea will be poured into a cup by a gloved and masked food service worker. High touch self-service urns will not be used.
  • Tables and chairs will be separated to maintain social distancing.
  • Additional outdoor seating has been added, where possible.
  • Separate locations will be designated for picking up orders placed in advance.
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Safety Protocols

  • Customers are required to wear cloth face coverings before entering a dining location and while inside it. Face coverings may be removed, briefly, in order to eat or drink, but social distancing must be observed when unmasked.
  • Food service employees are required to wear face coverings throughout the day when on University property (both on and off duty).
  • All food service employees are required to wear disposable gloves when handling food (pre- and non-packaged food) and must wash their hands and change gloves every 30 minutes or less.
  • All kitchen equipment, food preparation areas and customer contact points are sanitized every 30 minutes.
  • Food service staff sanitize customer seating areas on an hourly basis.
  • Disinfectant spray bottles, gloves, and paper towels are located at strategic locations inside dining venues to encourage customers to wipe down tables before and after using them.
  • Cashiers are required to wear disposable gloves in addition to face coverings at all times when on duty.
  • All grab-and-go items will continue to be pre-wrapped prior to customer purchase.
  • All food service entrances, exits, ordering locations and pick-up areas are  clearly highlighted and marked.
  • All customer entrances have signs to remind customers of the requirement of wearing face coverings.
  • All food service areas have markings on the floor and on countertops visibly highlighting the proper direction of traffic and indicating the required minimum 6-foot distance between customers at main traffic points.
  • Plexiglass shields have been placed at the major customer/food worker contact points, such as cashier stations and ordering and pick-up locations, where 6 feet of separation is not possible.
  • Where shields or sneeze guards already exist, they have been expanded to provide additional protection.
  • While inside any food service or dining venue, patrons are be permitted to consume food or drink while walking around and are required to be seated while eating.
  • At all locations, managers are monitor and enforce occupancy limits in all dining facilities. If possible, electronic counters will be used.
  • Hand sanitizer stands have been placed at the entrances and exits to dining venues.

Food for Students Under Isolation

Students under isolation will be delivered food daily, including staples and snacks as well as hot food. When possible, the food will be dropped off in a space adjacent to the student’s room to eliminate person-to-person contact.

Food for Students with Special Dietary Needs

Chartwells continue to ensure that students with special dietary needs have appropriate food choices. Students may contact the Manager of Dining Services if they have any questions.

Employee Training

Dining Services staff are trained by their employer, Chartwells, and are required to follow industry standards as well as laws and guidelines from local, state and federal regulatory agencies. Chartwells has a detailed written protocol for employee training, health screening/testing, service provision and symptom response. The staff will also be trained to follow the University’s rules regarding safeguards.


Chartwells offers ”contactless” catering options to include drop-off menu items individually packaged for ease of delivery and consumption. Instead of buffets, all meals are preordered and individually portioned into disposable containers. Dinnerware is disposable and wrapped for individual diners. Beverages are served only in cans or bottles. Coffee/tea are poured by a gloved food service worker.

Vending Machines

Vending services are provided by a third party, Canteen. The Canteen supervisor conducts a temperature check and screening interview at the distribution center to confirm that their employees are well and exhibit no sign of illness, and to assure that all safety PPEs (gloves, face coverings, and uniforms) are being worn by the employee before leaving the premises. Vending technicians will continue to wear all PPEs when on campus.

  • Technicians  sanitize each vending machine prior to and after product refills.
  • A transparent film is attached to all customer touchpoints to allow for more thorough cleaning. It is routinely changed over the course of the semester.
  • Restocking of products  occurs during early morning hours to reduce the probability of customer contact.

Last Modified: Wednesday, October 21, 2020 9:00 am