MSU Dining Services rolls out new features for the spring semester

The Starbucks Mobile Order feature is now available to use at the Colvard Student Union.

As Mississippi State University began the spring semester of 2022, MSU Dining Services unveiled some fresh features that allow students to easily view Block Meals and Flex Dollars. Additionally, Dining Services added mobile purchases at campus fast food locations and the Dawg Bites Trial Meal Plan.

Students can now view their remaining Block Meals and Flex Dollars by visiting dining.msstate.edu and creating an account using their nine-digit MSU ID. After an account is created, students can go back to this site to see their Flex and Block Meals balance instead of having to log into MyState.

Haley Sweet, a freshman engineering major, said she frequently uses her Flex Dollars at locations such as the Colvard Student Union on campus. Sweet said she is looking forward to a new, faster way to view her available funds.

"It's honestly a lot easier than having to log in to Banner on MyState, and it's set, so I'll actually get notifications towards the end of the semester when I run low on Flex Dollars. I also like that I will be able to see a list of everything charged to my account so I can see exactly what I'm spending my Flex Dollars on," Sweet said.

Sweet also said she was excited to use the new Transact Mobile Ordering App, which will soon be used to place orders at Chick-fil-A, Moe's Southwest Grill and Steak N Shake via the app. Additionally, MSU staff members can link their meal plans to the Transact app to spend Block Meals or Flex Dollars at these campus restaurants. The option to pay with a credit or debit card is still available.

Erik Pare is a freshman psychology major who said he has a hectic schedule with little time for lunch most days, like many full-time MSU students. He said he was enthusiastic to hear of the new mobile ordering app.

"I feel like being able to order online will be an absolute help because you can order while you're coming out of classes and be able to get there and already have your food ready. A lot of the time, students will not be able to eat until after their classes or won't be able to find the time throughout the day, but if they order online, it is a quick stop and pick up. I think it will be a huge help, especially to those who may not be getting enough food throughout the day," Pare said.

The final update MSU Dining Services introduced was the Dawg Bites Trial Plan. This new plan is intended for MSU staff members and serves as a smaller, more affordable option. The Dawg Bites Trial Plan costs $100.00 plus tax and includes ten Block Meals and an additional $25 in Flex Dollars.

Andi Pichardo, the marketing manager for MSU Dining Services, explained the idea behind the new Dawg Bites Trial Plan.

"There was a recent upgrade of point-of-sale systems at all dining locations, and with this, we wanted to give faculty and staff members who have never had a meal plan before a way to try it out. We are always looking to improve and create a better experience for our students and community. We are in the process of looking at adding new meal plan options for students; this also means presenting them to the IHL for approval. As we grow and improve our locations, we hope to add new meal plan options as well," Pichardo said.

While not every update has been released yet, the reception to these changes has been positive so far. Students and MSU faculty alike say they welcome these additions and anticipate any new updates MSU Dining Services may throw their way in the future.

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