Back to Focus

DFACs on JBLM open longer in response to feedback

Email Article Print Article Share on Facebook Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon

Dining facility hours expanded earlier this month on Joint Base Lewis-McChord's Lewis North and Lewis Main.

The changes, which include certain mess halls being open later in the day and a new brunch feeding window on weekends, came only shortly before Installation Management Command recommended that nearly 25 percent be consolidated or closed. The hope is for the amended hours to better meet service members' needs and to increase utilization.

"It's all about flexibility," JBLM Chief of Food Management Operations Sgt. Maj. Ricky Gaines said.

The facilities previously opened for dinner between 4:30 and 6:00 p.m. Now, two facilities on Lewis North are open until 6:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and three other facilities are open until 6:30 p.m. on weekends. There are also three facilities offering brunch from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

There are also plans for a facility to offer an extended lunch, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 or 1:30 p.m.

The changes, which became effective May 1, have actually been in the works for some time and are primarily the result of feedback from service members in the Better Opportunities for Single Service members program. Troops who rely on the dining facilities were having trouble balancing the previous hours with late work schedules, operational hours at pools or gyms on the installation and the understandable desire to sleep a little later on the weekends.

"Now hours are more true to how people live," JBLM Plans, Analysis and Integration Office Lead Management and Program Analyst Barbara Farino said.

Other feedback-based changes include increased portion size and giving priority service to meal card holders at all installation dining facilities.

It's possible the changes will have an impact beyond flexibility, however. Regulations require dining facilities to maintain a 65 percent use rate, which has been a systemic problem Armywide, according to Gaines. Altering the hours of operation may increase usage, and decide which facilities stick around.

"Those facilities may be shut down if they're not being properly used," Command Food Service Technician Chief Warrant Officer 2 Tomeki Saunders said.

More online

For a complete schedule and list of DFAC locations, visit

comments powered by Disqus