New App Helps Eliminate Food Service Lines

Photo by Lizzie Nimetz.
Photo by Lizzie Nimetz.
Photo by Lizzie Nimetz.

Convenience, in both the way students get food and the type of food choices available, is what Campus Auxiliary Services (CAS) and Sodexo hope to achieve this school year.

Tapingo is a newly-implemented application that allows users to order food in advance from participating campus food services including the new Café Spice and The Sweet Shop via a smartphone.

Café Spice, an Indian style food provider in the Student Union Building (SUB), replaced Mojavista, a Mexican location, and The Sweet Shop, serving frozen yogurt and bubble tea, replaced The Healthy Hub, a store that served healthier options.

“With both those things, Mojavista and The Healthy Hub, they weren’t really knocking it out of the box in terms of either sales or customer satisfaction. People were like ‘ehh’ so we wanted to try a new thing. Make it a little more exciting,” said Steven Deutsch, the Executive Director of Campus Auxiliary Services. This is why changes were applied.

After being seen at a conference by members of the administration and the food service on campus, Tapingo was seen as an exciting possibility. Sodexo, with the help of CAS, brought Tapingo to the campus, Deutsch said.

With a play on words of tap-and-go, Tapingo is designed with the intent to decrease waiting time on food lines, giving students the opportunity to not waste their college years watching their peers’ backsides.

“I saw it working really great when I was on line for sushi, which seems to have the longest and slowest moving line as well and we’re going to have to address that, but Tapingo people were like ‘doo-doo-doo-doo-doo,’ walking right to the register and boom,” said Deutsch about the app.

On the company’s website, they estimate that the average student waits about 15 minutes in line every time they choose to eat; a combined amount of eight days a year. Students who have used the app say that the app helps them save time by eliminating the need to wait in lines.

“The second I get out of class, I go onto the app and order my food so that it’s ready for me by the time I walk to the SUB,” Jenny Olivia, a second-year art education major said.

This application was created with promises of increasing sales, improving student life, decreasing wait time and saving money by reducing costs, according to the Tapingo website.

Deutsch said the sales have already increased by 25 percent from meal plans, cash sales and credit card sales alike from just the two weeks of campus locations opening.

With a growth in sales and in the amount of people signing up for the app, Deutsch said the food program is continuously improving. Wooster, the science building currently being renovated, is set to host numerous food options that will change every semester, giving students new and interesting options.

“I think every semester, folks are looking for something new and interesting to spice up the fact that they have to eat in a place five days a week, six days, seven days a week for a five month period,” said Deutsch. “So all of those changes were made to improve the offerings and we’ll always be doing that.”