DSL launches new pick-a-lunch pilot program

Students are able to use a meal swipe to pay for their choice of one entrée, two sides, and a drink

The Division of Student Life launched a new pick-a-lunch pilot program earlier this month. The program is located in the Pritchett Dining Room, on the second floor of Walker Memorial. Student turnout has been limited thus far.

Pick-a-lunch is open Monday through Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Students are able to use a meal swipe to pay for their choice of one entrée, two sides, and a drink. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are available. 

At present, only students with a meal plan can participate, according to Mark Hayes, director of campus dining, in an email sent to The Tech.

The DSL designed pick-a-lunch based on feedback from students on the House Dining Committee (HDC) and across various dining studies, the most recent being a survey administered in 2017, Hayes wrote. 

Pritchett was “a natural pilot location given the equipment already in that space and the presence of TechMart, both of which are operated by our campus dining partner Bon Appetit,” Hayes wrote. 

“It’s convenient for students who can’t get back to Maseeh for lunch,” Gary Arthur, resident district manager for Bon Appetit, said in an interview with The Tech.

The Tech visited Pritchett from 11:10 to 11:30 a.m. Monday. During that time, one student shopped around before leaving. No other students were present.

“In our first few days we served 44 meals and we expect those numbers to increase as we ramp-up marketing and awareness of pick-a-lunch,” Hayes wrote.

Although pick-a-lunch was designed for greater student flexibility, its operations do not always coincide with those of TechMart. Both are offered at the same location, but students are only able to use both services concurrently on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Arthur said that this was an issue. “If I’m getting lunch, I might also want to grab some strawberries or something,” he explained.

Hayes wrote that he hopes to “continue to engage the HDC and meal-plan subscribers on ways to strengthen pick-a-lunch, and to continue adding value to the dining program altogether.” 

If any MIT community member has feedback, questions, or concerns about the pick-a-lunch pilot program, they can email