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Please note: Most locations are operating under reduced hours

September 19, 2023

The choice is yours! 

Empowering students and their choices around food 

Food Services at University of Toronto, St. George Campus is pleased to announce the implementation of the self-serve Pay by Weight (PBW) system in all the Food Services operated dining halls. This system is more inclusive and empowers you to build and customize your own meals.  

In the fall of 2022, Food Services and the Innovation Hub conducted a series of student-led feedback sessions and interviews to co-design operations at dining halls. As part of the findings, our students expressed that they wanted to be able to make their own decisions about what and how they eat in our dining halls on campus. Students told us that they need to be able to accommodate all the various aspects of their busy lives at the University; like cultural food preferences, different eating habits, various dietary restrictions, and increased opportunities to be able to socialize around food – all the while being cost effective and sustainable. Phew! That’s a big list, but the great news is that the PBW system helps address all these requests! 

Ok. I’m listening… how does it work? 

  • Pick a plate, Eco2Go container or takeout container and fill it with your meal from our Salad Bar, Entrée, Pizza, and self-serve Pasta Stations. Pick as little or as much as you like from all the options available.  
  • Bring it to any cashier who will weigh it on a scale and determine the price by weight. 

I get it. But how is this system more inclusive? 

The PBW system considers the individual preferences and needs by empowering students to choose what and how much food they want based on: 

The choice is yours

Eating Habits + Nutritional Needs

YOU get to customize your meal according to YOUR habits.  Like to eat multiple small vegetarian meals over the course of the day? No problem! Or are you someone who likes to pack a big protein punch before your workout? We’ve got you! Just pick what serves you best!

Cultural + Faith-based Preferences

We know that students across campus have various faith based and cultural eating preferences – pay by weight lets you eat what you want and how you want– anytime of the year.  

Food Allergies + Restrictions 

Gluten intolerance? Sugar sensitivities? Just make the choices you need as you see fit. Do you have questions about nutrition or how to make choices to mitigate your allergies or dietary restrictions? We have a nutritionist on staff, always ready to help you make the best selection for your lifestyle.  

The new PBW system helps to remove stigmas around various cultural and dietary preferences and helps make food on campus a more easily accessible social connector. 

How is this system more sustainable? 

In Canada, almost 2.2 million tonnes of edible food are wasted each year*. Food Services’ pay by weight system helps us move one step closer to reducing food waste on campus. Anyone can choose what and how much food they want, based on their appetite so that less food is thrown away.   

Here are some things to consider to amplify your sustainable and economical efforts on campus:  

Use the Eco2Go Container  

You can take out any leftovers with you to eat later. 

Discover, Pick and Choose 

Select small portions of different dishes initially, figure out which ones you love and then come back for seconds. This is also a really great way to explore some of the new options on offer!  

November 1, 2023 update:

For more detailed insights about PBW please visit the dedicated Pay By Weight page.