New mobile app to order food at student center
Sarah Shelton – Features Editor
Dave Lee – Contributor
No more lines and no more waits at the Adanti Student Center Food Court, according to the SCSU Campus Dining Instagram account, all because of a new mobile app.
BiteU is an app made specifically for ordering food at universities, and the university recently signed up; making the student center now available for this option.
“Bite Universities is a Sodexo app that is used at other Sodexo universities and colleges around the country. We thought it would be great to bring it to Southern! We started using it last semester, and so far everyone loves it,” General Manager of the university’s dining, Tony Deluca, said in an email.
Deluca said it was a long process to get the university on this app.
“We had to connect the app with Southern’s Point of Sale system and contact tech support to create an employee account and set up the Wi-Fi. We also had to connect our internal menu system at Conn Hall and make sure the Retail app menus/options were coordinated with our offerings. Once it was setup, we did numerous rounds of testing to make sure the app functioned properly. We also trained our employees to help ensure they understand the process,” Deluca said.
Deluca said many students have started using the app, and they have a regular mobile order customer at Tres Habaneros.
Deluca said the app is simple to use, “you download the app to your smart phone and can view Conn Hall menus and order meals from the Student Center Food Court. In order to pay for the mobile orders, you connect your HootLoot, Credit, or Debit card. Once in the app, you select which station you would like to order from and then customize your meal, add to cart, choose your pick-up time and press place order. From there, we accept the order in the kitchen and process it. Once complete, your order is packed up in a special Bite bag with cutlery and napkins and you get a notification to pick it up at the mobile order area by each station. Since the app is newer to Southern, we’re continuing to build upon the process/experience and are always open to suggestions.”
Healthcare studies major Chris Powers, a senior, said he occasionally eats at the student center and has recently heard about the new app because of the Instagram post.
“The app seems pretty dank, pretty useful,” Powers said. “I would plan to use the app for convenience and I definitely believe others will use the app when dining.”
However, other students, such as communication disorders major Emily Nadile, a senior, do not plan on using BiteU.
“I do not have experience with the new mobile app nor did I know about it, but I do think having a mobile app for dining especially with college-aged students is really beneficial. I think having all your information you need pertaining to dining in one place is really beneficial and efficient,” Nadile said.
Nadile said when she used to live on campus, she ate at the student center two times a week. Now, for this semester, she tries to eat there once a week.
“I do not plan on using the app,” Nadile said. “I do think other people will use the app for sure. I think that freshmen students will find it very helpful in navigating their dining experiences at SCSU. That was a big thing to learn when I was a freshman in college just starting out.”
Nadile said she believes the lines are okay depending on the time she goes.
“I notice long lines at peak dining times during the day. Otherwise, the lines are not too bad,” Nadile said. “It’s all about navigating what time to go if you don’t want to wait in a long line. Peak times in my personal opinion were are like one and three.”
When communications major Evan Adamowicz, a senior, eats at the student center, he notices the lines do get busy.
“Usually the student center around the time I go, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., can get pretty packed. The lines get long,” Adamowicz said.
Adamowicz did not hear about the mobile app but said he is interested in learning more about it and possibly downloading it.
“I think others will use it if there is a large advertisement for it so more interested people can download it,” Adamowicz said.