New program ties dining FOAPAL to employee ID card

Author: Colleen O'Connor


Have you ever taken a business guest to Sorin’s, Legends or other campus food service location and realized at the end of the meal that you have no idea what FOAPAL to charge? You are not alone. Half of the walk-ins at Sorin’s do not have a FOAPAL ready to use. Twenty-three percent of the FOAPALS given are incomplete and 10 percent are incorrect.

A team at the Morris Inn, with support from the Office of Continuous Improvement and Notre Dame Food Services, is making University dining much easier for you. A newly developed program will allow you to tie your departmental FOAPAL to your own employee ID card and use this as a payment method for on-campus dining expenses. Going forward, it will not be necessary to remember or write out your FOAPAL. All you need to do is present your ID card.

Five peer institutions were benchmarked: Purdue, Princeton, Michigan, Stanford and Northwestern. Additionally, a focus group consisting of diners, campus business managers and representatives from the Office of the Controller and the tax department was held to get feedback from all parties affected by the process.

“Must-haves” that came out of the feedback included easy use for diners, who specifically did not want to have to fill out an expense report; electronic availability of transaction details for business managers; and information required by the tax department for compliance, such as the business purpose of the meal. From these criteria came the choice to utilize employee ID cards. The solution meets all of the requirements.

Anyone interested in obtaining authorization to charge to a FOAPAL account on their Notre Dame employee ID card has only to fill out a form found online at and return it to the Card Services Office, 1 South Dining Hall, or

The form must bear the approval signature of the budget administrator or business manager of the campus unit of the requestor. The user has the option of requesting charge access at all University food unit locations or just selected ones of choice, e.g. Sorin’s, Greenfields, Decio Commons, Café de Grasta, etc. For “Sorin’s to You” orders placed by telephone, continue to provide your FOAPAL over the phone at the time you place your order.

Here is how the ID card charge program works. Following a meal or purchase, the diner informs the server he/she is using a FOAPAL by ID card and presents the ID card. Since other “tenders” may also be registered to an individual’s card, such as Domer Dollars, it is wise to clearly state that the payment is by FOAPAL.

Once a charge has been processed, the user will receive an email the next business day, which will include a copy of the receipt. It is the user’s responsibility to approve the charge and complete the requested compliance information within three business days.

At the same time, the authorized business manager or budget administrator may access department charge history at For questions or comments, please contact Card Services at or 631-7814.