In the Summer 2010 Dining Services removed trays from its all-you-care-to-eat venue, Winslow Dining Hall.  Below, we address some of the most common questions and concerns regarding the transition.


Why is Murray State Dining Services going trayless at Winslow?

Because it’s the responsible thing to do.  Going trayless will significantly reduce Dining’s environmental impact without extra costs or drastic changes to normal, everyday life.

Results of going trayless:

  • Less Food Waste: Campuses across the nation report decreasing food waste by 25 to 50 percent after removing trays from all-you-care-to-eat facilities. 
  • Less Water: Cleaning each tray, one study determined, requires between a third and a half gallon of heated water per tray.  Winslow serves an average of 2,800 people a day, so going trayless has the potential to save nearly a thousand gallons of water a day.
  • Less Energy: Since there won’t be trays, there won’t be a need to run extra dishwasher cycles specifically for them. 
  • Less Chemicals: Fewer dishwashing cycles results in using less chemicals and soaps.

If going trayless saves so much, will the dining rates decrease as well?

Theoretically, that’s a possibility.  Realistically, you’re not going to see it reflected in the meal plan prices.  The reason: food costs and other related expenses keep increasing.  The financial impact of going trayless may marginally offset those increases but the point of going trayless is to significantly reduce the environmental impact of Dining Services. This is your chance to help the environment without altering normal, everyday life or spending one additional cent.

Why isn’t the T’Room going trayless as well?

Unlike Winslow, the T’Room is not all you care to eat.  Items are priced individually and patrons must pass through the registers before finding seating in the dining room.  Since the dining area and food court are so divided, not being able to gather your meal in one trip would require additional stops at the registers.

Comparatively, not having trays at Winslow, which has a free-flow floor plan and you pay upon entry, is little inconvenience for a lot of positive environmental impact.


What will change:

  • There will no longer be trays in the dining hall. 
    *A few trays will be reserved for individuals with specials needs. 
  • You’ll notice staff cleaning tables more frequently since the crumbs and little spills trays once caught will now land on the tables.
    **Dining Services will not tolerate a dirty dining environment.  If you notice tables not up to par, hold us accountable and tell a staff member. You may also comment online, and we'll address the issue ASAP.

What will stay the same:

  • Everything is still all-you-care-to-eat. If you can’t carry everything you want in one trip, come back for seconds, thirds, etc.  It should taste even better since each serving will be fresh from the kitchen.
  • It’s also still “one entrée at a time.” So, if you’re used to getting up for additional entrees, this won’t be a big change for you.