University Village residents no longer have to deal with long lines at The Den by Denny’s, as Tapingo, the food delivery app, now offers to-the-door delivery. Residents can now order a complete meal from their smartphones and in 15 to 20 minutes, their orders will be ready at their door.
The application is convenient for students since many have late night classes and often do not like to wait in long lines that form at The Den and Los Olivos Dining Commons, which are the only eateries on campus that stay open late. Also, Los Olivos is a long walk away for University Village residents especially at night, as it is located on the opposite side of campus.
University Village has been working with Foundation Dining Services for two years to bring this project to life.
Allyson LeClair, University Village community development specialist, believes that the collaboration has been successful.
“We believe the residents will benefit from this because it makes it easier and safer for them to get their food,” LeClair said.
So far, the average number of orders coming from the village is around eight orders per week, which is not much, but LeClair said she hopes the app gets more orders once residents become more familiar with the service.
If delivery service continues to grow, there will be openings for job positions in food delivery.
Alejandro Iniguez, manager at The Den by Denny’s, said he considers all customers equal and that the delivery service does not create more work for his employees, especially during the lunch and dinner rush.
“All Tapingo orders are treated as if they were physical customers in our store,” Iniguez said. “I don’t believe this creates more work for our employees and if the delivery service picks up it will create a new delivery position.”
Iniguez said he thinks that delivery is the solution to help students get food, whether it is during the day or late at night after long hours of studying. There are a couple of things that students have to consider before placing an order.
Students must know that there is a $2.99 delivery fee, but if they spend more than $15 on their delivery, the $2.99 delivery fee will be applied as credit for the next time they order.
LeClair added that the minimum of $15 per order was established so that residents will be provided with the best service and not be restricted to a certain number of items on the menu.
Another thing to consider is making sure residents include their apartment number under the “special requests” column so that the individual delivering the food knows where to go.
Sonny Quintana, a fifth-year liberal studies student and resident advisor (RA), said he thinks the service gives more options for residents to eat without having to leave the village. He said he orders from Tapingo whenever he is on duty as an RA.
He said the option to order from the app is very convenient.
“It will definitely strengthen the connection between resident students and on-campus restaurants and give more food options for students living at the village,” Quintana said.
Quintana said he would like the app to feature more food options.
“Vista Market didn’t offer all of the snacks I usually get in-store, and Denny’s [The Den by Denny’s] didn’t list what drinks they had and forgot my barbeque sauce,” Quintana said.
LeClair said this delivery service is only the beginning because Foundation Dining Services intends to offer delivery from other restaurants on campus to the village.
“The Den and Vista [Market] are part of our first phase, and we will hopefully bring out the rest of the restaurants on campus by next year,” LeClair said.
If everything goes according to plan, village residents will have a variety of food options to choose from, delivered to their doorstep.
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