UD students increase usage of food ordering apps in an effort to follow social distancing regulations, photo courtesy of PxHere.
College students have learned to adjust all areas of their lives in order to follow social distancing regulations during COVID-19. And how students get their meals is no exception.
The usage of food delivery apps has increased significantly since the first country-wide shut-down in March 2020.
The Second Measure reported in January that sales from meal delivery services grew by 164 percent year-over-year. Young adults make up a large proportion of these services’ users, with the Pew Research Center reporting that 53 percent of the adults that order food online fall between the ages of 18 and 29.
University of Dayton students have been taking advantage of ordering food online using the GET Mobile app, a mobile platform that allows students to place orders from UD’s dining halls.
Joan Bauman, director of dining services at UD, said that online orders from the GET Mobile app grew in popularity during the 2020 fall semester.
“More than one-third of all our sales go through the GET app,” Bauman said.
Using the GET app, students, faculty and staff can order food from the dining halls for pick-up or delivery. Orders can still be made in person at some locations, but many made-to-order foods such as salads and sandwiches must be made online.
Using online ordering was originally a way to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 by lowering the number of students standing in lines at dining halls.
Bauman said that the GET app is a part of a third-party organization called Cboard, which UD uses for many functions on campus, such as meal plans and door access that requires Flyer ID cards.
UD’s dining halls have remained popular even during COVID-19 regulations. According to Bauman, however, much of the traffic that dining halls receive now comes through online.
Amy Martin, associate director of Dining Services for Kennedy Union, said that she has seen an increase in online delivery orders throughout the school year.
“They have gone from 600 deliveries in the beginning, which to us was huge, and now reach up to the 900 to 1,000 mark,” Martin said.
Virginia W. Kettering dining hall receives anywhere from 500 to 700 orders placed a day using the GET, according to Associate Director of Dining Services for VWK Joe Mcclanahan.
Popular items vary depending on the location, but the overall trending orders have stayed consistent with past years. Pizza, chicken, pasta, Asian, Mexican, and the Kettering Wrap are still among top sellers, said Bauman.
Many students did not use the GET app before the 2020 fall semester. Sophomore accounting major, Nathan Seltzer, said that he had not downloaded the app until this school year, and would rather order in the dining hall than online.
“The app is phenomenal, it’s set up well and easy to use,” said Seltzer. “But I prefer to order in person simply because there’s more control. I feel like they don’t look much at the order notes because there’s plenty of times where they’ve forgotten changes in my orders.”
Seltzer said that despite times it has been frustrating, he will continue to use the GET app for the convenience and safety of ordering food ahead of pick-up.