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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the mandatory dining requirements & who is required to purchase a Meal Plan?

All enrolled students living in the Residence Halls are required to purchase a meal plan. The Bulldog Unlimited Plan is mandatory for all entering Freshmen and students who have earned less than 24 credit hours. Sophomores with more than 24 credit hours may choose from the Unlimited or the 12-Meal Plan. All other upperclassmen living on campus with more than 64 credit hours may choose the 7-Meal Plan.

How can a student or employee select a meal plan?

Anyone wanting to purchase a meal plan must contact Residence Life located in 106 University Center, call 205-726-2956 or website:

Meal Plan options for Fall & Spring

  *All meal plans include $130.00 Dining Dollars

Bulldog Unlimited Plan                Cost - $2432/semester

12-Meal Plan                              Cost - $1789/semester

7-Meal Plan                                Cost - $1134/semester

What are Dining Dollars?

Dining Dollars is a declining balance account that can be used for purchases at all Samford University Dining facilities. All three(3) meal plan options come with $130.00 of Dining Dollars, these Dining Dollars expire at the end of each semester.

Samford University Dining facilities: Einsteins Bro. Bagels, Pete Hannah Smoothie Bar, Chick-fil-A, Samford Grill, Boars Head Deli, Hioshu Sushi and Freshens

What are Additional Dining Dollars?

Additional Dining Dollars can be added to your account anytime during the academic school year; for orders over $100 you receive a 10% BONUS. Additional Dining Dollars will roll over each semester and are good till the end of the Summer term. Additional Dining Dollars is a declining balance account that can be used for purchases at all Samford University Dining facilities.

What are Bulldog Bucks?

Bulldog Bucks is a declining balance account that can be used for food, goods and services anywhere the Samford Card is accepted on Campus. Bulldog Bucks accounts are available to students, faculty and staff. Bulldog Bucks roll over from semester to semester.

How do I know which account to use?

If you are eating in The Caf you should use a Meal Swipe, however you can also use any other form of payment to dine at The Caf. If you are dining at any other location you can use Dining Dollars or Bulldog Bucks. The register will deduct money from the account in the following way: Dining Dollars, Additional Dining Dollars, Bulldog Bucks.

Can I use another person card to purchase a meal?

No. You may not use another student's Samford Card to purchase a meal. Meals are Meal Plan holder exclusive and cannot be used to purchase meals for other guest. You may use Dining Dollars to purchase food for any guest. Any Samford Card that is used by another student other than the owner will be confiscated and turned into Public Safety.

How can I add additional dining dollars?

Dining Dollars are purchased through GET --

Add dining dollars to your account at any point in the year

All purchases over $100 receive a 10% bonus back

All unused Dining Dollars through GET remain on your ID through the end of Summer II each year

How do I contact Dining if I have an opportunity or a comment to share?

We LOVE to hear from our students, faculty, and staff! That's why you have so many options for talking to us:

  • Text "Tell SU" + your comments to 82257
  • Leave a review on the Bite App
  • Grab a comment card in the Caf
  • Email
  • Post on social: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat
  • Email the General Manager, Michael Scheffres at

Does Freshens take a meal swipe?

Freshens is the meal swipe option that CHS students have for lunch, given the distance from the Caf. This allows CHS Students to eat lunch and still get to class on time.

We currently accept the 12 Meal Plan and 7 Meal Plan swipes at lunch so that upper classman can use their meal plans at Freshens.

What Happens if I lose my Student I.D?

Lost or stolen meal cards can be replaced. Should this happen to you, please contact the Public Safety office. Cards can be replaced for $15.00. You may reach public safety at 205-726-2020.

Can I request exemption or change my meal plan?

All students must follow the meal plan requirements based on the number of credits earned, year of residency and location of residency. If you qualify for a smaller meal plan, you have until the first Friday after classes begin to make a reduction. You may add or increase a meal plan at any time. Call the Residence life Office at 205-726-2956 to adjust your plan.

If you have a medical condition with nutritional considerations, please contact Disability Services at 205-726-4078 for permission to alter meal plan requirements. Accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis to best ensure equal access to campus services.

What if I have a food allergy?

Please email Michael Scheffres at so we can meet and discuss your specific needs. We may be able to add menu items to accommodate you and other students with the same needs.

What are my options if I want to eat a vegan diet, or avoid dairy and gluten? How can I see what the Caf is serving each day?

Our culinary team works hard to offer a wide variety of food options that meet many dietary needs. You can see the full menu, including nutritional information, by downloading the "Bite" app in the app store. 

With the Bite App (contains the most up-to-date information) you can see a week's worth of menus and even filter menus by foods you want to avoid. Look for V for Vegetarian, VG for Vegan, and the green heart for Mindful dishes.

Dishes at each station are listed above the lines with nutritional information and allergens. If you ever have a questions or concern about a menu item, please speak to a manager.

You can also go to to view Caf menus.

What at the serving times of hot food in the Caf during the week?

Breakfast: 7am - 10am

Lunch: 10:45am - 2pm

Dinner: 5pm - 8pm

If your class schedule does not allow you to come to the Caf during these times, please let s know ans we will extend our times as needed.

What is available to eat in the Caf between 2pm and 5pm?

Mongolian Grill for fresh stir-fry, Classic Grill with sandwiches made to order, Deli, Cold Vegetarian Bar, plus Salad Bar, Desserts, and Beverages.

What is Simple Serving?

Our Caf features allergen-free dining. Free of the 8 most common allergens, including dairy, eggs, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, and gluten, all Simple Servings dishes are delicious and nutritious.

What healthy options do you have?

We have dozens of healthy options at each meal period in the Caf. Items identified as Mindful are nutririonally complete, low in fat, sugar, and sodium. In addition, please check out the Bite App for vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, and gulten-free options each day. Bite will also give you nutritional info for every menu item so you can eat as healthy as you like!

When we use oil, we use a Canola/Olive Oil blend.

Important Notes

  • Enrolled students not residing on-campus may elect to purchase any of the meal plans during the Fall & Spring semesters.
  • Meals will be available on housing move-in day for the Fall & Spring semesters.
  • The day to use meal plans is the last day of finals for both Fall & Spring
  • Students can use up to five (5) meal swipes per day.
  • Meals are exclusive for the meal plan holder.
  • Dining Dollars can be used to pay for guest at all dining locations.
  • Meals rest on Sunday night
  • The Caf has a Take 4 Program for those in hurry.
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Samford University | Dining Services | 800 Lakeshore Drive | Birmingham, AL 35229 | tel. (205) 726-2385 | Contact Us