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Late meal is now just ‘meal’ as hours expand

Grill station menu is on the right of the photo and a worker to the left.
Grill station at the Frist Food Gallery.
Isabel Richardson / The Daily Princetonian

Princeton Campus Dining has extended late meal hours to include standard lunch times, raised the late meal allowance, and begun piloting a new mobile ordering system.

The extended lunch hours, which span 11 a.m. to 4p.m. on weekdays, differs by three hours from the 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. schedule used in the 2022–2023 school year. Late dinner hours of 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. have not changed. 

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Campus Dining originally introduced late meal as an initiative to provide underclassman students with additional dining opportunities beyond normal times.

According to the Campus Dining website, the office recognizes that “students may be unable to dine during regular dining hall hours. Therefore, students with meal plans are entitled to use their plan to purchase late lunches Monday to Friday and late dinner Monday to Thursday at the Food Gallery at Frist.”

Now, however, late meal hours overlap with lunch hours, meaning that students may eat lunch in the Frist Gallery instead of one of the four dining halls associated with the residential colleges. The implications of this change could lead to a reduction in dining hall crowds at lunch.

Will Zhou ’26 often chooses late meal over residential college dining options due to advantages that late meal provides, such as its central location and grab-and-go options.

“I welcome the change for sure,” he said in an interview with the ‘Prince.’ “Especially for lunch, you can come to Frist and leave quickly, which is quite convenient.” 

Isabel Liu ’26 also expressed her preference for late meal, noting the difference in food offerings. “There are a lot of stations at late meal, such as their Asian Bar, which I prefer,” she said.

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The university requires all underclassmen to purchase the unlimited meal plan, which automatically includes a late meal allowance. Starting this semester, the amount allotted has increased from nine dollars to nine dollars and 50 cents to match inflation, which remains consistent with a previous allotment increase last fall. However, any meal purchased at the Grill Station, Taco Bar, Asian Bar, and Pizza Station — even though their advertised price is over $9.50 — can be bought by students for late meal with no additional charge, according to a sign posted in the late meal area.

Also new to late meal, Campus Dining has implemented an online ordering platform, TigerDash, for the grill’s lunch and dinner options. The system allows students to purchase menu items ahead of time and avoid waiting in lines. Choices include beef, chicken, vegetarian, quesadillas, and sides.

While the system may lower wait times in the line at the Frist grill, students must order 30 minutes ahead to ensure that their order has been processed when they arrive to pick up their purchase. 

Rebecca Cunningham is an assistant News editor for the ‘Prince.’

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