Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I purchase a Meal Plan?

There are 2 easy ways to sign up for a Meal Plan: Online:; By Mail:  PO Box 112282,  Gainesville, FL 32611. You may pay using a credit card (balance in full or a payment plan when purchasing a Fall and Spring Meal Plan), cash, check, or financial aid deferment.

2. What is the credit card payment plan?

The credit card payment plan breaks down the payments for a fall and spring residential meal plan with eight installments. Payments for the fall meal plan are July – October and payments for the spring meal plan are November – February. To participate, go to

3. Does Gator Dining Services accept Financial Aid Deferment?

Yes, you may defer payment of your All Campus Meal Plan or your Declining Balance Account (with a minimum balance request of $500) if the expected amount of your financial aid award is large enough to cover your meal plan PLUS the amount of your tuition, campus housing expenses (if applicable) and any bookstore deferment you may have chosen. If approved, Financial Aid will be automatically resubmitted in the spring semester for the same amount. Please contact Gator Dining Services at (352) 392-2491 for more information.

4. What are the Meal Plan options?

The Open-Access Meal Plan is recommended for all resident students and is the most economical, flexible, and fun way to eat on campus. We offer a variety of options to fit your lifestyle. Choose from 7 Day Open-Access PLUS, 7 Day Open-Access, 5 Day Open-Access, or 10 meals per week.

5. How do I choose the best Meal Plan for me?

Whether you eat three square meals a day, snack often, or eat sporadically, there is a Meal Plan for you! Call (352) 392-2491 for an individual assessment and recommendation.

6 Can I change my Meal Plan?

A grace period is provided during the Fall and Spring semesters during which you may transfer the prorated values of your Residential Meal Plan to Flex Bucks. Please note that if you have chosen a payment plan, the payments continue until the 8th and final payment is made to fulfill the 2-semester commitment. Fall grace period:  8/14/19 – 8/21/19 at 4 PM; Spring grace period: 1/4/20 – 1/8/20 at 4 PM. After the grace period, you can still upgrade your Meal Plan, but you cannot downgrade. Only the participant may use the allotted meals.

7. Is there a two-semester commitment to the Meal Plan?

Yes. When you purchase a Meal Plan for the fall semester (regardless of whether you convert it to Flex Bucks or a fraternity/sorority meal plan during the grace period), you must purchase a Meal Plan for the spring semester as well. You do not have to purchase the same plan you had for fall; however, you can choose any Residential meal option to fulfill that obligation which you qualify for. Please note Commuter Meal Plans are only available to students residing off-campus and do not fulfill a two-semester commitment.

8. What are the door rates for the dining halls?

$6.99 for breakfast, $8.99 for lunch and $8.99 for dinner, plus tax.

9. Can I bring guests to the dining halls?

The Flex Bucks portion of a meal plan or a Declining Balance Account can be used to treat a guest to a dining facility; however, a meal from the Meal Plan can only be used by the individual with the Meal Plan.

10. Can I take my meals-to-go if I don’t feel like eating in the dining hall?

Yes. Please tell the cashier you would like your meal to-go at the time of purchase. Unfortunately, you may not stay in the dining hall if you choose a meal to-go. The reusable or compostable to-go container must be fully closed when you leave. The to-go option is a convenience for you. If you choose unlimited portions, you must dine-in.

11. What is a Declining Balance Account?

For the student living a distance from campus, the Declining Balance Account is a convenient alternative to the Open-Access Meal Plan. The Declining Balance Account allows the student to deposit funds at any time. The account is accepted at all Gator Dining locations. There is no fee to establish the account and no minimum balance to maintain. Any unused balance carries forward from semester to semester and from year to year until you graduate or leave school. It’s fast – just scan and go. It’s convenient and safe; no need to carry cash on campus. It may also be used at any campus dining location and convenience store.

12. What is the difference between Flex Bucks and Declining Balance?

Both Flex Bucks and Declining Balance are accounts on your Gator 1 Card that work just like a debit account for food. They are accepted at all food locations on campus. Flex Bucks come with a Meal Plan while Declining Balance is maintained separately. Because Flex Bucks come with a Meal Plan, they expire at the end of the spring semester while Declining Balance will continue to roll over until you graduate, withdraw, or transfer from UF.

13. What are the advantages of having a Meal Plan?

The Meal Plan is the most convenient and economical way to eat on campus. Our two all-you-care-to-eat dining facilities are located near residential areas and provide not only great places to eat healthily but also popular destinations for socializing and studying. There is a wide variety of Meal Plans to fit any student’s schedule and eating habits, plus each Meal Plan includes Flex Bucks for flexible dining at all locations on campus.

14. Does my Meal Plan rollover at the end of the semester?

Any unused meals at the end of the semester will not roll forward into the following semester; however, the Flex Bucks portion of the Residential Meal Plan will roll over from the fall semester until the end of the spring semester if the account is in good standing.  Please note that the meals and Flex Bucks for the Commuter Meal Plans do not roll over to subsequent semesters.

15. How do I add money to my dining account?

Declining Balance customers can add money to their account at any point in the semester. You can also add Declining Balance to your meal plan if you run out of Flex Bucks. You can do this online at, or in person at the business office.

16. Where is the Gator Dining Business Office?

The Gator Dining Business Office is located in the Racquet Club Dining Center just north of the Student Health Care Center and across the street from the Otis Hawkins Center for Academic and Personal Excellence on Fletcher Drive.  The physical address is 222 Fletcher Dr, Gainesville, FL 32608.

17. Why is my Meal Plan not showing up online?

Although you may have already purchased a Meal Plan, it will not show up on Gator 1 Central until it is activated (at the beginning of the semester), regardless of what method you used to purchase it.

18. If I join a fraternity or a sorority what happens to my Meal Plan?

View the Fraternity/Sorority Refund Policy

19. How do the dining halls accommodate special dietary needs?

Whether for religious, personal, or health reasons, Gator Dining Services strives to accommodate a large range of special dietary needs. Many of the recipes at both dining halls can be made without certain ingredients upon request. In addition, both dining halls have permanent Vegan Corner stations that serve daily entrees.  We do have a Registered Dietitian on staff that can address or assist with dietary questions or needs.  Please contact JoAnn Williams at or (352) 273-0591.

20. What is a pro-ration?

If you request to modify your meal plan under one of the three approved circumstances (transferring to Flex Bucks during the grace period, joining a fraternity or sorority with a mandatory meal plan component, or graduating, withdrawing, or transferring from UF), then the remaining value of your meal plan will be prorated on a weekly basis (Thursday through Wednesday), based on the number of weeks remaining in the semester. This method applies to all meal plans, regardless of how many meals have been eaten. In addition, a $35 administration fee will be administered for refunds.

21. When does the Meal Plan start and stop?

The meal plan for the Fall 2019 term will begin on Wednesday, August 14 and end on Friday, December 13 and for the Spring 2020 term, the meal plan will begin on Saturday, January 4 and end on Friday, May 1, 2020.

22. Where can I eat on the Meal Plan?

With the Open-Access Meal Plans, you are welcome at Gator Corner Dining Center and the Fresh Food Company as many times as you like either 7 or 5 Days per week depending on which plan you choose!  Your Open-Access meal plan can also be used daily with the 7 Day Open-Access Meal Plan or Monday-Friday with the 5 Day Open-Access meal plan for one cash exchange meal swipe valued at $6.50.  This cash exchange meal swipe is available at any time of the day for one meal per day.  Locations that accept the cash exchange meal swipe include Au Bon Pain, Boar’s Head, Camellia Court Café, Chomp It, Croutons, Einstein Bros. Bagels, Freshens, Jamba Juice, KFC Express, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Papa John’s, Pollo Tropical, Rising Roll, Salad Creations, Shake Smart, Subway, Wendy’s and Wing Zone. If you spend over $6.50, the difference will come out of your Flex Bucks account.

For those students who do not need Open-Access and prefer to purchase a set number of meals per week, we offer a meal plan that provides 10 meals per week, Thursday-Wednesday.  With the 10 Meals Per Week plan, these meals are only redeemable from The Fresh Food Company and Gator Corner Dining Center only.

Open-Access Meal Plan Redemption Locations CLICK HERE

23. What if I live off-campus?

Students who live off-campus may choose a Commuter Meal Plan, a Residential Meal Plan or the Declining Balance option.

24. Where are all dining locations on campus?

Download the Gator Dining map.

25. When do the dining locations open and close?

Visit Gator Dining Hours

26. Is there a Faculty/Staff Meal Plan?

Yes. For complete details and to sign up, please visit
Faculty/Staff Meal Plan 

27. Can anyone on campus purchase a Commuter Meal Plan?

Commuter Meal Plans are exclusively offered to off-campus students only. However, off-campus students are able to purchase any of the Residential Meal Plans or Declining Balance.

28. Do you offer a Kosher Meal Plan?


29. Who do I contact if I need to petition a standard policy?

If a student needs to petition a case against any of Gator Dining’s standard procedures and policies or terms & conditions, an email must be sent to The email must include a name and UF ID number to be reviewed. Petitions are reviewed on a case-by-case individual status and usually takes up to 10 days to receive a response from the Gator Dining Petitions Committee. Official documentation must accompany medical petitions from a physician by submitting a letter on letterhead with a signature. In the case of acceptance to a study abroad program or an out-of-town internship, proof of official acceptance must be presented.