Important aspects of a college student life are of course education, sleep, organizations, and the on-campus food. What will a student do without the top café and Chick Fil-A daily? Not to mention those delicious wings at Wingstop along with a refreshing smoothie from Tropical Smoothie Café ®. With all the options to eat at FAMU, its easy to run out meal swipes and Flex Bucks two months into your semester. Flex Bucks are cash equivalent dollars that are untaxed and can be used at any dining location. Flex Bucks can be carried over from fall to spring, but not from spring to fall. During my freshman year, never have I ever had access to so much food in my lifetime once I arrived on campus. As I now look back on my years in college with a meal plan, I could have smartly found a way to extend the life of my Flex Bucks and meal swipes. I would like to introduce you to Meal Plan Hacks.
My generation is surely the generation of “finesse” as Bruno Mars and Cardi B would say. So, it is only right if I provide some hacks on how to make the most of the Metz meal plan. First off, what is a hack? A hack is any trick, shortcut, skill, or novelty method that increases productivity and efficiency, in whichever area necessary. With that being said, lets dive into a couple of hacks to expand the life of your meal plan.
First hack is to simply take advantage of each establishment to eat on campus, sometimes you may not have to swipe your card. Attend events around campus where they have delicious free food, allowing you to hold onto as many Flex Bucks as possible, while also experiencing new things in college. Also take advantage of some of the places that have food that doesn’t receive heavy traffic on campus, such as the sushi bar and The Chopping Block where they make amazing salads of any sort. These places take meal swipes and Flex Bucks, so having two ways to pay for food is always a plus.
That brings me to how to manage your Flex Bucks and meal swipes. As a student, you don’t always have to use meal swipes for the top cafe, and flex for the Presidents Dining Room. Switch it up sometimes based off your desired locations. If you have more Flex than swipes, use your flex to go to the top café occasionally. However, don’t wait until the last minute to start this practice, start it as soon as possible. One thing you don’t want is to be overloaded on either meal swipes or Flex once the semester is nearing an end. Keeping nearly the same amount throughout the semester will keep your options open to every restaurant on campus.
I would like to wish everyone a great end to the semester, and a fantastic year eating on campus food. Remember, don’t just spend just to spend, be realistic and smart when it comes to your meal plan. Try everything out on campus, and correctly manage your Flex Bucks and meal swipes to be able to enjoy all food on campus throughout the entire year.
Food Service Workers Day is Wednesday, September 25th. In honor of this year’s Food Service Workers Day, we are honoring Chef Robert (Robbie) Joynt! Chef Robbie knew he wanted to be a chef since the early age of three when he made cheese & cracker hors de oeuvres for his mother’s Tupperware parties. When Chef Robbie was 14, he began working at his best friend’s pizza parlor and French bistro café.
Upon finishing culinary school at the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale in 1996, he moved to Tallahassee, Florida to attend Florida State University’s (FSU) School of Business. As a student at FSU, he worked at several locations including, University Center Club & Kool Beanz Café. In 2006, after winning first place in Tallahassee’s ACF culinary competition, Chef Robbie opened his first restaurant. Fusion Café was an instant success providing fresh local farm to table ingredients. Within a year, Fusion Cafe won several awards including first place for the 2007 Tallahassee Chef Sampler and voted best restaurant by the Tallahassee Magazine.
In 2009, Chef Robbie sold his share of the business and started working in the health care segment of the food service industry. “The goal back then”, Chef Joynt states, “was to change the bad perception people have of the food they are served in hospitals. If a chef can do that, he can do anything.” From 2010 to 2016, Chef Robbie traveled the United States visiting health care food service accounts and assisting the dietary departments achieve that goal. In 2016, Chef Robbie decided to leave the health care sector of food service to start working in higher education as the Director of Operations for the dining halls at FSU.
After his time at FSU, Chef Robbie began working for Metz Culinary Management as the Executive Chef for Florida A&M University in January 2019. He has been here at Florida A&M University (FAMU) since. During his short time at FAMU, Chef Robbie has added the following to our dining services program: specialty themes to lunch and dinner menus as well as demonstrating cooking demos to students during Earth Week and Healthy Campus Week. Chef Robbie and his extended experience has been very beneficial to FAMU and his willingness to incorporate cooking demos for the students has helped build a community between students and the culinary staff. We are excited to see what the future has in store!