Hot breakfast disappears at select dining halls

This fall, students were in for a surprise when breakfast options at select dining halls resembled the infamous continental breakfasts of Holiday Inns and Sheratons, rather than the hot options advertised in R&DE’s glossy dining brochures. 

Three out of the eight dining halls on campus — Ricker, Casper and FloMo — are now serving “enhanced continental breakfast,” R&DE wrote in an email to The Daily.

Students have expressed concern with the minimized breakfast options, particularly at FloMo, the only Kosher dining hall option on campus. 

All of the Kosher keeping students on campus are limited to FloMo’s new breakfast menu. Keeping Kosher is a Jewish dietary law where meats and fats must not be mixed.

Lee Rosenthal ’25, president of Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi and the director of housing and community in Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU), said these new changes are “creating restrictions for the Jewish community.”

FloMo is “specifically the location for people in a marginalized community who have diet restrictions because of their identity,” Rosenthal said.

In an earlier communication with R&DE, University relations wrote about their commitment to “meet the needs of our diverse student community,” a sentiment that conflicts with the impact on Kosher keeping students with a preference toward hot breakfast. The Daily has reached out to the University for comment on how this decision has impacted Kosher students.

The new breakfast includes “pancakes and waffles (malted and gluten-free), an expanded bagel bar, hot oatmeal, hard-boiled eggs, a variety of pastries, cold cereal and more,” R&DE wrote in a statement to The Daily.  

FloMo’s breakfast last school year “was probably the best meal that was served at the dining hall,” Rosenthal said. “I very much like my eggs and so they have the same eggs you know, every morning — it was really nice. I like most breakfast meats, I just felt it was a great variety.” 

This year, Rosenthal said he goes to Arrillaga for breakfast on his way to class instead. 

Another FloMo resident, Vivian Liang ’26, enjoys this year’s breakfast more than the previous year. “They didn’t serve bagels last year, they didn’t serve acai bowls — they do this year,” she said.

R&DE did not respond to questions about why prices of meal plans have not changed despite the different dining options this year. Students have expressed frustration that prices have stayed the same while meal options have minimized. 

There is a “pretty glaring downgrade toward the undergraduate dining experience,” according to Rosenthal. 

R&DE recommends students who prefer a “wider variety of hot breakfast options” to “use their meal swipes in any of the other dining halls on campus.”

Low interest in breakfast, labor factors and “inflation” are reasons why they chose to eliminate hot breakfast at certain dining halls, R&DE wrote. They did not respond to questions about how R&DE chose which dining halls to serve continental breakfast.

Stanford’s final budget is approved annually in June by the Board of Trustees, giving the University at least three months to communicate the new breakfast options to the affected students. 

These behind the scene changes to breakfast were spread through word of mouth. R&DE had not released a statement or any indication of alterations made before the start of this quarter. 

Rosenthal said students are “bound by the rule of law that the University passes down to us because this campus is so big and prices in this area of the country are so inflated — if you don’t choose to opt out of the meal plan, then meals essentially become financially restricted.” 

Rosenthal proposes “a once a month neighborhood omelet bar, a fantastic event,” while all Liang asks for is a working espresso machine. 

Originally posted 2023-10-06 05:31:28.