July 9th, 2014 | University

Commons to stop serving breakfast

Yale Dining unrolled two new winter break meal plans that allowed students to eat in Morse and Ezra Stiles dining halls during Jan. 7-12.

This is a developing story. Check the Yale Daily News website soon for a full article. 

Commons will no longer be open for breakfast.

The dining hall, which has served breakfast to Yale students for decades, will only be open for lunch starting this fall. Hot breakfast will now be served in five of Yale’s residential college dining halls instead: Ezra Stiles, Morse, Branford, Saybrook and Silliman. Furthermore, the production of cold food — such as salads and sandwiches — will shift from residential dining halls to a new Culinary Support Center (CSC) half a mile away from Commons.

Money was the motivating force behind these changes, according to a statement from Yale Dining. Like all other divisions of the University, Yale Dining has been asked to cut spending as the University works to trim its budget deficit.

“We have limited options for mitigating operational cost increases in order to avoid passing those costs on to our customers,” read the statement, which Director of Residential Dining Cathy Van Dyke provided to the News.

The statement said that reducing the number of meals served in Commons will reduce wear and tear on Commons’ aging infrastructure. The dining hall will eventually require a large renovation to meet building codes, it continued.

The second major change will shift the production of cold foods into a centralized kitchen. As a result, sandwiches, salads, fruit and deli items — now prepared in 14 individual dining halls — will be prepared en masse at 344 Winchester Avenue, near Science Park. The CSC will also house the Yale Bakery and Yale Catering, both of which will also move out of Commons.

This shift will mean dining halls are no longer preparing cold food for 5,500 students at 14 different locations, the statement said. The changes to consolidate cold production will serve to minimize redundancies in chopping, mixing, slicing and general preparation.

The statement added that the new facility, slated to open in August, will have new “state of the art” equipment and will put more trained pantry workers in a single location. The new model will help address inconsistencies across dining halls while improving the overall quality of cold food production.

The statement conceded that such large scale changes may lead to some difficulties, but said Yale Dining is working to anticipate any potential transitional glitches and address them as they arise.

The shift away from Commons is part of a longer-term trend. The storied dining hall stopped serving dinner in 2011.

A previous version of this post incorrectly stated that Morse and Ezra Stiles were the only colleges to offer breakfast on weekdays before the change. In fact, they did not.