Bulldog Tavern began usage of a new mobile ordering app in an attempt to make its to-go service more convenient for students Oct. 26.
The app, titled Tapingo, allows customers to order menu items for pickup at the restaurant’s special to-go window behind the first floor staircase in the Healey Family Student Center.
Tapingo is currently used by campus dining services at dozens of universities across the United States including the University of Southern California, New York University and the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Although Bulldog Tavern Manager Warren Ramsey declined to release preliminary usage statistics of the app, the average Tapingo user orders 15 times a month, according to a December 2013 article in Forbes.
“We see a large percentage of students using the Tapingo app as well as faculty and staff,” Warren wrote in an email to The Hoya. “It’s a convenient option for people that are in a rush. We have seen an increase in our Tapingo sales after last week’s email [to the student body] that was sent out.”
The app was introduced in response to an increased student desire to have fast and convenient food selections that fit into their hectic lives, according to Vice President for Auxiliary Services Joelle Wiese.
“The Bulldog Tavern team wanted to provide a convenient option for Hoyas to order and pick-up, as they recognize students want food ‘to go’ quite often given their busy schedules,” Wiese wrote in an email to The Hoya. “So, if you are running late for your morning class, you can place an order for a breakfast sandwich and coffee while getting dressed, and pick it up on the way to your class.”
Ramsey said he believes the addition of mobile ordering will significantly increase revenue as more people take advantage of the app’s convenience.
Based on the app’s success, Wiese said it may spread to other dining locations on campus such as Così and Elevation Burger.
“We are interested to see how the campus reacts to this new service and watching the industry trends,” Wiese wrote. “It wouldn’t surprise me to see other food operations on campus offer this kind of service level in the future.”
Arnosh Keswani (SFS ’17) said Bulldog Tavern has to fix other problems like unsatisfactory service for the mobile ordering app to be properly implemented.
“I think the Bulldog Tavern, first of all … has a lot of problems that could be addressed,” Keswani said. “And if they could address those problems — long wait times, poor service — if they address those and have a great delivery system, it would be very beneficial for them, as well as the campus community.”
Scott Carpenter (COL ’17) said he sees Tapingo as a chance to allow more people to try out the Tavern’s food and potentially expand its customer base.
“I don’t really like the food very much, but I am sure the people maybe will try it and maybe if they like it they’ll start going there more or they will start ordering food from there more, but I don’t particularly like it,” Carpenter said.
Keswani added that the new app would be even better if it included delivery orders rather than just pick-up orders. Though other campuses utilizing Tapingo’s interface deliver orders, Bulldog Tavern is currently only accepting pick-up orders. Ramsey did not comment on whether the restaurant will one day offer delivery services.
“Bulldog Tavern, for all of its bad service problems, does have some excellent food at times, and I think if they could do delivery service it would be really good for the campus to have a good food source,” Keswani said.
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