Family Table at New College House

If you have never hosted a Family Table, please review the following FAQ before submitting your reservation.

Family Table Reservation Form


Family Table at New College House Café Frequently Asked Questions

What is Family Table?

Family Table is a new dining experience offered during dinner hours in New College House Café. People will be able to come together, set the table and share a meal from large platters of food—just like home!

Family Table is offered in the all-you-care-to-eat dining facility and is available using an individual meal “swipe” from your dining plan.

Who can reserve a Family Table?

New College House Faculty and staff will be hosting Family Tables throughout the year; NCH residents will be invited to attend.

New College House residents can also host Family Tables. Faculty and staff members from other college houses who are interested in hosting a Family Table should contact the NCH office for assistance.

What do you mean by “host?”

Each Family Table has a “host.” As a host, you are the person who submits the reservation, is the main contact regarding the reservation, and obtains the platters of food from designated Dining staff members during the meal.

This sounds cool, but does everyone have to eat at a Family Table for dinner every day?

Family Table will be available during dinner hours for those who reserve it. Anyone with a dining plan will be able to enter New College House Café and enjoy traditional, single-service, all-you-care-to-eat dining without a reservation.

I live in New College House! How can I reserve a Family Table?

1. Plan ahead—reservations must be made by 9:00AM the day before your desired reservation. (For example, someone wanting to enjoy Family Table on September 10, 2016 would need to submit the reservation by 9:00AM on September 9, 2016.)  Keep in mind that a limited number of spaces will be available for Family Table reservations each evening.

2. Determine the host and the group of people who will be attending.

3. Access the reservation form at the New College House website: The host logs in using their PennKey and submits the following information:

- host name and contact info

- name and penn email addresses for all participants

- desired date and time for Family Table

- any accessibility needs for host or members of their party

4. The host and participants will receive an email from a New College House staff member confirming their reservation.

Can I invite my friend who lives in another college house?

If your friend has a dining plan, you can invite them to your Family Table. Make sure to include their name and contact information on the reservation form.

Can I invite my friend who lives off campus/does not have a dining plan?

Anyone who has a dining plan can be invited to a Family Table. If your friend does not have a dining plan, they can still participate with a guest meal swipe from you or another member of your party.

What happens if one of my friends can’t make it?

You can invite someone to take your friend’s place. As long as they have a dining plan and bring their Penncard, they can attend. Please make sure to notify New College House Family Table Liaison about the change. Since tables and staffing are set ahead of time, this helps ensure that all of our materials and resources are utilized appropriately.

If the number of people in your party drops below four (including yourself) your table will be released and you will be able to utilize the traditional all-you-care-to-eat dining.

My friend is running late to our reservation. Can we still eat?

Of course you can! Your party may enter the dining hall and be seated at your Family Table. You will, however, need to wait until your friend arrives, or no longer than fifteen minutes before beginning the meal.

What happens at Family Table?

Your Family Table will be full of great conversation, food and fun! There is a simple set of steps to follow at your reservation time:

1. Arrive at New College House Café a few minutes before the start of your reservation.

2. Each member of the party shows their Penncard to the cashier and the hosts informs the cashier that they have a Family Table reserved.

3. A Dining staff member designated for Family Table shows the party to their table. The party will find a menu, plates, napkins, cups and silverware stacked in the center of the table.

4. The host takes a list from the party of the items they want for dinner.

5. While the party sets the table, the host goes to the designated Dining Staff member with their list of items. The Dining Staff member fills platters of food and gives the platters to the host

5a. If the group wants salad, a member of the party can take a bowl to the salad bar to build a salad for the table.

5b. Water will be provided in pitchers for the table. Individuals may go to the beverage station for other options, including iced tea, lemonade, juice and soda.

5c. Individual party members can visit the dessert station for their choice of a wide variety of sweet options.

6. The host brings the tray to the Family Table.

7. The party serves themselves from the platters and enjoys! They talk; they laugh; they share stories about their days!

8. At the end of the meal, the party stacks the plates, napkins, utensils and cups on the tray. The host brings the tray to the dish station.

What happens if someone wants seconds?

Smaller platters will be available for individuals to request additional portions. It will be helpful to talk with your party members first to see if anyone else would like more of a specific dish.

This sounds like fun! Is there a time limit for Family Table?

One hour allows plenty of time to share food, tell stories, unwind, have a bit more, and enjoy dinner with your friends. This also helps Dining staff efficiently prepare tables for other parties.

Do people like Family Table?

Family Table is a new initiative to bring people together and share a meal. We believe students and staff will enjoy being able to relax, engage in lively conversation and connect in different ways during a Family Table meal. All participants will receive a short survey via email to complete following their reservation. The feedback is important as we build the program.