We have a card till system in the Garden Restaurant and the Red Brick Café Bar. You should present your University Card at the till when making a purchase. The card identifies you as a member of the College entitled to discounted member prices. It also enables you to buy meals for yourself and your guests if you chose to use it as a purse. (Guests are restricted at this time)

Issue of University Card

The version of the University Card required is known as a Mifare card. This is a combined identity card, access card and purse. First year undergraduates and new graduate students will receive their card when they join the College. You may use the catering outlets before you are issued with your card but only for the first two weeks of the Michaelmas Term. The issue of cards is controlled by the Tutorial Office.

Introductory Fortnight

At the start of every new academic year, you may use the Garden Restaurant and the Red Brick Café Bar before you are issued with your card or before you have put credit onto your card, but only for the first two weeks of the Michaelmas Term. This is to give you adequate time to obtain your card and to pay for credit. During this time, you will be able to pay cash at the tills and still benefit from the discounted members price without having to show your card. The introductory fortnight in 2021 will be from Saturday 24th September to Friday 8th October inclusive.

Use of the card

We encourage you to use the card as a purse and to load it with credit - we call this topping-up. You will have two separate purses - one for food and one for alcohol/drinks. Money is not transferable between the purses. Details of how to top-up are set out below. Use of the card as a food purse will attract additional loyalty benefits. We encourage you to use the ON-LINE Top Up facility as you will benefit from additional credit when you top up with £25.00 or more on the food purse. In order to qualify for member prices, you will have to produce your card. Your card may be used in the Red Brick Café Bar to purchase food, drinks and other goods on sale, though loyalty benefits are only attached to food purchase transactions.

You may use your card to purchase anything on sale in the Garden Restaurant. Spending on any of these items will be taken into account when calculating loyalty benefits.

Your card may not be used to “introduce” someone else who then pays cash. They will either need their own membership card or pay non-member prices.

Reviewing your Transactions

You can keep track of the transactions being processed on your card through the on-line Meal Booking System/Epos Top Up page. Click on Transaction History to review all transactions for a selected date range. If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Putting credit on your card (Topping-up)

When you want to put money on your card, we will assume it is to spend in the Garden Restaurant using your food purse unless you tell us differently. You must make it clear if you wish to put credit on your bar purse to purchase alcohol. You can only use credit in the area the money is credited to and once paid, it cannot be moved. When we receive a payment from you, we will put credit on the appropriate purse.

You can pay the College in any of the following ways:

  • QUALIFY FOR BONUS CREDIT - Preferred Option is On-line using a debit card.  Visit on-line Top-up to process a payment. Please note that credit card payments are not permitted as they attract a charge of 2% to cover the commission charges that the College will have to pay
  • In the Red Brick Cafe during normal opening hours, cash or debit card payments can be made.  You can top up both your food and bar purses - make sure you tell the operator which one you wish to add the money to.

The amount of credit you choose to pay for is up to you, however to recieve bonus credit a minimum £25 is required. You may make payments as often as you choose to. There is no "upper" limit.

If you run out of credit on your food purse at an inopportune moment - for example, just as you are paying for your lunch, the system will allow you a very small overdraft facility on your card. You will be required to deal with that overdraft and restore the balance on your card to a positive figure immediately. You will receive an e-mail prompting you to correct the balance and we may restrict the use of your card if you do not.

You may not overdraw on your bar purse under any circumstances.

If you have any credit remaining on your card at the end of term, the credit is transferable to the next term and indeed, the next academic year.

You may continue to put credit on your card during vacations and use the card in the Garden Restaurant, and RBCB though prices, operating times and loyalty benefits will be different.

When you are approaching the end of your study and your final departure from Robinson College, you should aim to reduce the credit on your card to zero. If however you have a balance outstanding, the College will give you a refund. See section; Refunds to your Card, below.

Prices in the Garden Restaurant

The price charged at the till in the Garden Restaurant will depend upon who the customer is. The "Non-member Price" will be that which is charged to a non-Robinson person. This could be a guest of yours or a visitor using our Garden Restaurant. The Non-member Price will be on display in the Garden Restaurant.

A Robinson Member will benefit from a significant reduction - you will pay approximately two thirds what a guest or visitor would pay. The "Member Price" will also be displayed in the Garden Restaurant and additionally on the Prices and Deals page of this website. You will need to show your card in order to be able to benefit from the Member Price. At the till, the system will automatically charge you the reduced price, once it has been activated by your card.

Lost Card

If you lose your card, you must advise the Catering Department as soon as possible. Whilst the card does carry your photograph, it would be possible for someone else, fraudulently, to use your card if it has not been cancelled. Send an e-mail to the Catering Department (you can do this via the Feedback page) as soon as possible. If the loss occurs outside of office hours, see the Supervisor in the Garden Restaurant or in the RBCB. The lost card will be cancelled.
Then go to the Tutorial Office, for a new card to be issued to you. Once you have your new card, advise the Catering Department so that the new card can be attached to your account. You can then use the new card as before.

While you are without a card, please bring alternative ID with you into the outlets. The Supervisor is able to “look-up” members in the system but may require ID. This “look-up” facility will only be carried out on a limited number of occasions so it should not be relied upon. Ordering a new card should be a priority.

Benefits of using the Card

By putting credit on your card, you can avoid the worry of needing any cash.

If you pay for a larger amount of credit in advance on your food purse, you can benefit from additional buying power. For the latest deals on how to earn bonus credit on your top-ups, see the news and promotions page on the website.

There is no minimum spend with your card.

There will be other loyalty benefits and bonuses available by using your card. For example, there will be offers of free items based upon previous buying or discounts on specified items. There will also be bonuses given based upon your spending habits. More information will be available from time to time on the specific benefits available - see the news page on the website. You will also receive promotional information from time to time.

There are no loyalty benefits associated with the bar purse.

Please carry your card at all times to benefit from promotions and discounts that may be available.

Bonus Credit

Bonus credit earned on your card (food purse) from time to time can only be spent in the catering department (Garden Restaurant, Red Brick Café Bar or Formal Hall bookings (when they resume) and cannot be exchanged for cash. Bonus credit on top-ups is only earned and therefore available to spend, once you have spent the purchased credit through transactions in the catering department. If you do not spend your purchased credit, you will lose the bonus credit.


We are encouraging cashless transaction in our Outlets.  Wherever possible please use your card or pay with the correct money and avoid the use of large notes to pay for meals on their own. Cashiers will display signs at the till when change is very low. Please assist where possible.

Credit Cards

Students are not permitted to use credit cards, only debit cards. However, in order to facilitate parents wishing to pay for top-ups from home, credit cards may be used to pay for top-ups on-line if there is no other means of payment via the College website. 

Refunds to your card

Usually, any balance on your card will remain for you to use from term to term, year to year and we will not usually provide refunds during your tenure.

When you leave Robinson College, usually at the end of your degree/post-grad degree, we will reimburse any positive purchased credit balance,  though any unspent bonus credit will be forfeit – in other words, we will give you back any of the money that you paid which is  remaining on your card. If your balance is overdrawn, the College reserves the right to transfer such debts to your college bill for settlement before graduation.

You will need to apply for a refund to the Catering Department who will advise you of the value of the cash refund and any bonus credit that will be forfeit. Arrangements can then be made with the College Office to add this money to your deposit transfer in August.

Any un-claimed refunds as at two years following your graduation date will be forfeit and you will no longer be able to make a claim.