Meal Exchange is an option designed for students who are unable to access the dining hall while it is open for dinner hours. If you miss dinner due to athletics practice, ensemble rehearsals, or any other obligations from 4:30 to 7:15 p.m. then you are eligible to order a meal at Big Al’s Grille or Poblano’s between 8:00 and 9:30 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays.
Since this option is in place of swiping into dinner you are not able to swipe into the dining hall for any reason, even if just for coffee, after 4:30 pm. If you are unsure you will like the options at dinner you can access a menu on our website that is updated weekly.
Using this option does not use any Highlander Flex Dollars but does consume one meal swipe, so if you are on a limited meal plan you ought to be cognizant of that. You are able to get meal exchange and buy additional food items such as extra fries or guacamole with your Flex.
To get meal exchange wait in the Big Al’s line starting at 8:00 pm. There will be someone who will ask to see your Student ID to confirm that you have not swiped into dinner. Then place your order at the register and choose from one of the items notated with an asterisk on the Menu. This includes: a beef or Garden® burger, either chicken sandwich option, a three piece chicken tenders, or one option on the Poblano’s menu. Any of the options from Big Al’s comes with a side of fries, salad, or a fruit cup, and both Big Al’s and Poblano’s come with a bottled water or fountain drink.
We are happy to offer this service to help out busy students who need another option than the usual dining hall hours. Of course during meal exchange anyone is welcome to purchase any other options from our menu, and Big Al’s and Poblano’s will be opening back up on Fridays and Saturdays soon!
Student Highlander Flex Dollars (flex) are a dollar for dollar, untaxed currency. These can be spent at any dining service entity; most popularly at Big Al’s Grille and Java 101. Every meal plan auto-magically comes equipped with a complimentary $100 in Flex. So, let’s talk about how to use Flex dollars, the benefit of using Flex Dollars, and how to buy more.
To use Flex dollars at Java 101 place your order with the barista as usual. Often times the barista will ask you if you plan on using your Flex. When they tell you to scan your Student ID, slowly wave the barcode on the backside in front of the scanner: similar to swiping into the dining hall. The amount of the purchase will be subtracted from your Flex balance and a receipt will be printed with your new balance. You can buy any handcrafted beverage, homemade sandwiches and cakes, and any retail items including: yogurts, pastries, hummus cups, bottled water and bottled Pure Leaf® Teas. To use your Flex you must have your student ID on you; your account can not be looked up. Using your Flex at Big Al’s follows the same process described above and can be used to purchase anything made in both Big Al’s and Poblano’s.
What about the dining hall? You can use Flex at the dining hall. You can purchase a meal for a guest using your Flex. If you are not on the Full Access meal plan (i.e. 90-Block) you can purchase a meal in the dining hall so that you may preserve your meal swipes if necessary. To top it all off, Flex can be used at the concession stands for athletic events!
What’s the benefit to using and purchasing Flex? Why not use my credit card or cash when I run out of Flex? As mentioned before, Flex is untaxed. Therefore, with every purchase of a Colossal Highlander Latte at Java 101 you save 40¢. That adds up! That means with every ten drinks you have saved enough money to buy another drink! Why wouldn’t you use Flex?! Additionally, Houghton College runs a yearlong promotion on buying Flex: with every $50 you receive an additional $5 free! Therefore, if you buy $50 you will receive a $55 credit, and if you buy $100 you receive a $110 credit! Our best offer is when you buy $300 you will receive a $345 credit which is $15 more than the usual promotion! Think of all the “free” lattes and fries!
You are probably asking: how do I buy additional Flex? Let me tell you! If you go to the Food services office and speak with our Executive Administrative Assistant Roxanne Bentley she will walk through the process with you. If you need help finding the offices speak with whoever is running the register in the dining hall. You can also call Ms. Bentley via extension 2600 or from an outside line with the number 585-567-9260. So get spending those Highlander Flex Dollars and utilize those savings!