Convenience at a Cost

Tapingo, a commonly used commercial food ordering app used across the SUNY New Paltz campus, has raised concerns among the student population with its recent technical difficulties.

For many students, an abundance of time is a foreign concept. Time is divided between going to class, part-time jobs, social interactions, studying and keeping up with personal hygiene. With all of this in mind, finding time to sit down and eat a decent meal becomes increasingly difficult. 

Enter Tapingo. As the number one mobile commercial app on campuses nationwide, Tapingo offers students an alternative to sacrificing eating or timeliness. Students can reach into their pocket and order their food from their mobile device ahead of time to avoid the line and beat the wait.

Tapingo was implemented on the SUNY New Paltz campus after it was introduced in a conference presentation for SUNY Auxiliary Services Association a few years back. 

With great convenience though, often comes a few snags. Here at SUNY New Paltz, students while grateful for the app when it is functioning at its full capacity, gripe at the issues that often arise.

Third-year English major Rachel Crook explained that while she enjoys the convenience, she experiences difficulty working around the limited offered availability.

“I’ll go to try and order something and the app will say something like ‘shop is closed,’ but when I walk around campus, I’ll notice that the establishment is usually open,” Crook said.

Sodexo Campus Services Unit Marketing Coordinator Rachel Tantillo explains that with great power often comes some technical difficulty.

“There can be various issues with any system like Tapingo, ranging from technological, hardware and also with dining services managing its ability to offer the best service possible by limiting options at certain times,” she said.

When a problem occurs with the app, the issue is dealt with by Tapingo support as well as Sodexo Management.

While the app can be used in areas of immediate gratification, it is not the intended purpose.

“It isn’t intended to bypass lines in the eateries or coffee shops,” Tantillo said. “Due to restricted space available in our kitchens and to maintain a flow of customer orders we have sometimes needed to suspend the app during peak times for a temporary timeframe, then return it once the lines are manageable.”

Third-year digital media management major Corinne Badini expressed her consistent satisfaction with the app.

“I really love how it can save your usual orders, making it even more convenient and efficient to get food if you are in a time crunch,” Badini quipped. 

Tantillo explained that Tapingo is perfect for the student with a serious time budget.

“The Tapingo app is intended for folks ‘on the move’ and needing to plan ahead because they cannot stop for very long at an eatery,” she said.

Despite the abundance in options for food, the Tapingo menu is frequently updated.

“We offer daily and weekly specials at multiple locations and they are often updated daily and weekly to reflect our special and limited time offers,” Tantillo said. “We have also used Tapingo to sell tickets to pop up dining events and to send ping notifications to students about limited time offer menus such as the very popular Wicked Wings at Pomodoro’s or Bodacious Burgers at Element 93.”

Any students experiencing issues with the app are encouraged to contact the support team to better inform them what is in need of improvement.